Talk:Human Genetic Diversity: Lewontin's Fallacy/Archive 1

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Archive 1

Conclusions in paper

Edwards seems to say more in the paper than that individuals can be classified, namely that the difference in phenotype can be arbitrarily large so the old statistic cannot be used to draw any inference about this ("It is not true .. that two random individuals from any one group are almost as different as any two random individuals from the entire world"). Is this a correct interpretation? If so it should perhaps be expanded in the article.

Filur 12:12, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Before you consider expanding this article, would you express an opinion (below) on the question of whether a single paper than has only been cited four times is notable enough for an entire article in Wikipedia? Thanks. Guettarda 14:16, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
It's a fairly short paper. At some point it'd be easier just to provide a link (perhaps from the Edwards article) and allow readers to read it themselves. -Willmcw 21:34, July 10, 2005 (UTC)
I do not think the article should be about the paper, but about the fallancy. Many people (and Nature) makes the mistake of believing that because a loci to loci analysis shows that 85% of the variance is within populations groups (true) it follows that humans are more alike than dislike (undetermined). When the differences are systematic, as they are, the way genotype is mapped to phenotype will determine how much differences there will actually be. My guess is that the differences will actually be smaller than what is indicated from the loci-to-loci analysis since natural selections will push towards the same solutions, and most of the difference will be in neutral parts of the DNA. Filur 07:07, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

NPOV

I don't know anything about this paper, but any article about a paper that entirely consists of a section attacking it can't be NPOV. DJ Clayworth 14:40, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

66.214.170.174 wrote an extensive critique of Edwards with no citations. It is available in the prior versions for those who want to read it.Jim Bowery 02:15, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I concur that there's a NPOV problem - the existence of this article, with this title, is non-neutral, and it should be merged into the appropriate general articles as discussed below. Danny Yee 12:48, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Statistical methods

The statistical methods described therein are now being used in forensic analyses.[1]. This sentence is vague. Which statistical methods? I read the article and it seems to address a different issue: determining which race a person might belong to by examining certain sections of their DNA. Can you explain this assertion better, please? Thanks, -Willmcw July 1, 2005 00:43 (UTC)

Lewotin's fallacy is so basic that virtually any synergistic use of more than one locus to do statistical inference of ancestry can be classified as the statistical method described by Edwards. The point is that there have been a very large number of peer-reviwed scientific papers that could not have been done without implicitly flying in the face of Lewontin's rhetoric and these include papers published before Lewontin's paper, such as those cited by Edwards. Perhaps there should be a better link to DNAPrint's technical use of between-loci correlation in their estimate of admixture of geographic race. Here's a quote from a stock analyst's report[2]:

DNAPrint’s Platform Technology—SNPs and AIMs

DNAPrint genomics’ core technology encompasses proprietary gene mapping strategies and patented Ancestry Informative Markers (AIMs) developed through population-level quantitative genomics mathematical modeling. Genetic mapping is the process by which each gene locus is defined relative to another whose position is already known on the basis of the frequency of recombination (the random exchange of parts of two homologous chromosomes during meiosis) that is observed between the two loci. There are a number of relatively new methods for gene mapping as physical gene maps, which rely on cloning of genes and recognizing their effect at the cellular level, have only limited utility. Newer methods rely upon population and family studies which incorporate genetic linkage into mapping techniques.

[long excerpt snipped by -Willmcw July 1, 2005 20:25 (UTC)]

Jim Bowery 1 July 2005 11:13 (UTC)

Thanks. I don't see the similarity - they seem to be coming at it from opposite sides. Lewontin was saying that individuals within a race are more different than races are from each other. Edwards said that if you combine many factors that a racial correlation appears. DNAPrint seems to be saying that with a couple of genetic Loci they can determine a person's race. That is not saying that that person is more like other members of his race than races in general - they only care about the few genes which make the difference, not the thousands which are shared. Is there a way that we can re-write the sentence to say what specific statistical tools DNAPrint uses that Edwards used? Otherwise I think the sentence is out of place. Cheers, -Willmcw July 1, 2005 20:25 (UTC)


The fairly generic term "cluster analysis" is probably the correct one to use. DNAPrint has found a way of doing cluster analysis using fewer loci than competitors so they can offer the service more cheaply.[3] From Edwards' paper: "A cluster analysis will be necessary in order to uncover the groups, and a convenient criterion is again based on the analysis of variance as in the method introduced by Edwards and Cavalli-Sforza.(10) Here the preferred division into two clusters maximises the between-clusters sum of squares or, what is the same thing, minimises the sum of the within-clusters sums of squares... The entries of the half-matrix of pairwise distances will therefore divide into two groups with very little overlap, and it will be possible to identify the two clusters with a risk of misclassification which tends to zero as the number of loci increases." Jim Bowery 12:57, 2 July 2005 (UTC)

Merge with Edwards

While this paper is interesting, I don't see how a single article which has been cited 7 times (ISI Web of Knowledge) really deserves an article of its own. Guettarda 2 July 2005 18:45 (UTC)

Is that all? In that case I'd agree. -Willmcw July 2, 2005 18:56 (UTC)


Well, it is only a 2003 paper so it may still have more of an impact, but it does strike me as at least premature to have a separate article on this paper.

1. Leroi AM, A family tree in every gene, JOURNAL OF GENETICS 84 (1): 3-6 APR 2005
Times Cited: 0

2. Jorgensen S, Mauricio R, Hybridization as a source of evolutionary novelty: leaf shape in a Hawaiian composite , GENETICA 123 (1-2): 171-179 FEB 2005
Times Cited: 0

3. Jorde LB, Wooding SP, Genetic variation, classification and 'race', NATURE GENETICS 36 (11): S28-S33 Suppl. S NOV 2004
Times Cited: 0

4. Mountain JL, Risch N, Assessing genetic contributions to phenotypic differences among 'racial' and 'ethnic' groups NATURE GENETICS 36 (11): S48-S53 Suppl. S NOV 2004
Times Cited: 2

5. Serre D, Paabo SP, Evidence for gradients of human genetic diversity within and among continents GENOME RESEARCH 14 (9): 1679-1685 SEP 2004
Times Cited: 8

6. Bamshad M, Wooding S, Salisbury BA, et al., Deconstructing the relationship between genetics and race , NATURE REVIEWS GENETICS 5 (8): 598-U2 AUG 2004
Times Cited: 20

7. Andreasen RO, The cladistic race concept: A defense, BIOLOGY & PHILOSOPHY 19 (3): 425-442 JUN 2004
Times Cited: 0

Guettarda 2 July 2005 19:26 (UTC)


The number of academic citations for a paper shouldn't be the sole criteria for deserving a separate article. Lewontin went over the head of his academic peers, directly to the public as well as crossing disciplinary lines via academic politics, when he promoted the idea that race as a taxonomic construct was invalid based on single locus Fst. Lewontin's position with respect to his peers regarding the "more variation within than between races" argument is very much like Gould's. Maynard Smith points out, more is at stake. Gould "is giving non-biologists a largely false picture of the state of evolutionary theory". This is basically the same attitude held toward Lewontin's public activism. Edwards' paper should be viewed as he says: "This article could, and perhaps should, have been written soon after 1974." He says 1974 rather than 1972, the date of Lewontin's academic paper due to the fact that 1974 was the date Lewontin went to the public with this misrepresentation of the state of evolutionary biology in his book: "The Genetic Basis for Evolutionary Change". Edwards is clearly concerned about the long-standing public miserading of the reality of racial taxonomy's solid foundations in evolutionary data and theory. The fact that his reach to the public is limited compared to Lewontin's should not be held against his paper. Jim Bowery 2 July 2005 20:54 (UTC)
But we don't judge potential importance, we report on actual impact. It's worth sticking into articles related to race, to Edwards, maybe to Lewontin...I'm not saying that the information is or isn't important, I'm just saying that, based on its impact to date (as judged by citations) I don't think we should have an article devoted to this one paper. Guettarda 2 July 2005 21:31 (UTC)


But Edwards' whole point is that his paper is not of academic importance -- his point is that this is very old news and none of Lewontin's peers took seriously, from a scientific stance, Lewontin's attack on race as a taxonomic construct. How could they? Aside from Lewontin's 1972 which merely reported single locus Fst, virtually the entire significance of Lewontin's fallacy is political rather than scientific. The real scientific importance is through the political impact on the funding of genetic research -- which is significant. So significant that virtually every honest researcher admits he has to weasel word anything he says about population structure. Jim Bowery 22:11, 2 July 2005 (UTC)

This article is too opaque

The conclusion reported in this article is likely too opaque for the intended audience of Wikipedia. Now, ours is not the business to make an original and more accessible exposition ("explain it better") of the argument (which breaks WP:NOR and in some sense WP:NPOV), but we can build an argument on the basis of other people's expositions. Maybe we could use the following opinion piece from NYT, which does quite a good job:

Even the NY Times, that bastion of PC, is beginning to admit the truth about Lewontin’s error, albeit only in an OP-editorial. On March 14, 2005, ARMAND MARIE LEROI wrote specifically about Lewontin, in the aptly titled, A Family Tree in Every Gene:

“The [Lewontin’s] error is easily illustrated. If one were asked to judge the ancestry of 100 New Yorkers, one could look at the color of their skin. That would do much to single out the Europeans, but little to distinguish the Senegalese from the Solomon Islanders. The same is true for any other feature of our bodies. The shapes of our eyes, noses and skulls; the color of our eyes and our hair; the heaviness, height and hairiness of our bodies are all, individually, poor guides to ancestry. But this is not true when the features are taken together. Certain skin colors tend to go with certain kinds of eyes, noses, skulls and bodies. When we glance at a stranger's face we use those associations to infer what continent, or even what country, he or his ancestors came from - and we usually get it right. To put it more abstractly, human physical variation is correlated; and correlations contain information.

Genetic variants that aren't written on our faces, but that can be detected only in the genome, show similar correlations. It is these correlations that Dr. Lewontin seems to have ignored. In essence, he looked at one gene at a time and failed to see races. But if many - a few hundred - variable genes are considered simultaneously, then it is very easy to do so. Indeed, a 2002 study by scientists at the University of Southern California and Stanford showed that if a sample of people from around the world are sorted by computer into five groups on the basis of genetic similarity, the groups that emerge are native to Europe, East Asia, Africa, America and Australasia - more or less the major races of traditional anthropology.”

I found it here. I'm not saying we should quote it verbatim, but it is a good enough basis for a neutrally reported explanation of why Lewontin is wrong. Arbor 8 July 2005 12:58 (UTC)

Lewontin's point is valid inasmuch as "race" is biologically something like "subspecies", and showing that within-group variance exceeds between-group variance means that you cannot separate these groups statistically. If, on the other hand, you look ar covariance (not correlation) you can create clusters. But these covariances do not necessarily represent shared ancestry. If you look at gene trees you will see that Senegalese and Europeans are more closely related to each other than either group are to Solomon Islanders. This is old fashioned (and outdated) systematics.
The second point, about the USC/Stanford study needs to be cited - if you look through the archives of Talk:Race you will see a discussion of a 2004 or 2005 paper which "upheld" race...when it actually simply upheld the fact that selected groups within races are more related than other groups. Again, this sort of "type concept" is unrealistic because it pre-selects distinct groups. If you used a random sample of the people of the world, including the Indians and the Egyptians, the Tureg, the Kazakhs...and you could still find races, then you would have evidence of race. But if you pick small homogenous samples and demonstrate that they differ from other small homogenous samples, then you are only saying that your samples are different. It is possible to separate the Welsh from the English if you look at genetics, but that doesn't mean that they are separate races. Guettarda 13:44, 8 July 2005 (UTC)

Can we widen the scope?

Hm... I think this article is necessary, not so much because Edwards' argument merits it in itself, but because Lewontin's argument permeates a large part of the public debate. Lewontin's argument is important, so it merits an article. However, from that point of view, the article cannot be called Lewontin's fallacy, because that is hardly a neutral way presenting the issue. Can we find another title for this article, and the both present Lewontin's claim, chronicles its public reception, and presents Edward's counterargument? For example, Lewontin's fallacy could be a section of such an article (so we can link to it from other articles if we want).

The only problem is that we aren't to invent neologisms in Wikipedia. Otherwise I would call the article Lewontin's argument or Lewontin's claim. Neither term exists, so that won't work. Suggestions? Other than Lewontin's argument against taxonomic validity of races within homo sapiens based on genetic variation? Arbor 12:53, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

We have a Contemporary views on race and Validity of human races. The information in this article is already in the latter article. I could see delving into the matter in one of those articles, not starting yet another article here. Having skimmed Edwards' paper I am not even convinced that he undercuts Lewontin in any substantive way - there's no data in the paper, merely a theoretical graph. PCA is not an hypothesis-testing tool, and it can never be better than the data. What Lewontin did - picking discrete "groups" of humans - maximises between-group variation, so when he says that within-group variation exceeds between-group variation, his arguments are solid. Now if you turn around and use a classification tool on these groups ("races") you will not be drawing valid inference. For that you need to sample the whole gradient, not the end points, if you want to say that race exists. Otherwise you are looking at artificial differences. Regardless, Edwards' paper hasn't got a drop of data in it. Guettarda 13:48, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
Good points. Should we simply merge this article in the Validity article? With a separate section named Lewontin's fallacy and a redirect? Or even without a separate section? (I don't think a vote for deletion will ever suceed, so a merge seems to be the only feasible way—maybe I'm wrong.) On a side note, Edwards is merely pointing out a rather trivial misconception in Lewontin's argument (at least in the eyes of a mathematician), so he needn't present any data at all. Arbor 19:51, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Merge 2

Again, as has been discussed before, this paper is too thin to stand on its own. A paper which has been cited 7x really isn't a big enough deal to have its own article. Since the material is already in the race article (and others), I find it hard to justify this article. If someone wants to expand this, as Arbor suggested a while ago, it should be under a more neutral title. Guettarda 13:03, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Again, since "Lewontin's Fallacy" addresses not Lewontin's 1972 paper, but rather Lewontin's subsequent books starting in 1974, none of which were peer-reviewed, it is not reasonable to assess the importance of "Lewontin's Fallacy" by a search for academic citations. If there is an article that needs rewriting it is the article on Lewontin since it emphasizes his early academic achievements -- which were relatively unimportant in his cultural impact compared to his "politics of racial science" books. If that article is rewritten to place appropriate emphasis on those books then it might be reasonable to move this article to the article about Lewontin's real importance. Jim Bowery 15:57, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
If this paper isn't scientifically important, but is part of a popular culture debate, then that's further argument against it having its own entry. It should be merged with the various entries on the "race debate". Which can discuss Lewontin's contributions to that debate as well. (I realise that some people here are obsessed with the "race issue", but we don't want to warp various biograhical entries to place a disproportionate emphasis on that.) Danny Yee 01:12, 16 October 2005 (UTC)
Its not scientifically important in the same sense that the denial that race is a valid taxonomic construct is a scientifically unimportant social fashion. Jim Bowery 02:17, 16 October 2005 (UTC)
The article isn't a priori too thin to stand on its own. It happens to be very short, but could be expanded. I don't recommend merging with race right now because I recently added ~50k of material to the race article, and it's still in need of strong editing for conciseness. It would be a mess to try to merge right now. --Rikurzhen 18:30, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
But merging with A.W.F. Edwards works. --Rikurzhen 19:22, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree with the merge. Very few academic papers deserve articles of their own. -Willmcw 21:02, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
I support a merge, but not with A.W.F. Edwards. That would unbalance that entry drastically (I hardly think this paper is the culmination of Edward's life's work). A much better merge would be with validity of human races or one of the other "race debate" pages, since that debate is the context for this paper. Or maybe it could go in a stats entry like factor analysis (which might also guarantee more impartial editing). Danny Yee 01:02, 16 October 2005 (UTC)
The validity of human races article is, unfortunately, pretty crappy right now. We'd need to clean it up before we could merge in this material, else we'd just be making a bigger mess. I don't have any time for that kind of project, but I can help with the science or philosophy if someone wants to work in that. --Rikurzhen 01:24, 16 October 2005 (UTC)


Merge 3 (Significance)

Pinker writes here (emphasis is mine):

In March, developmental biologist Armand Leroi published an op-ed in the New York Times rebutting the conventional wisdom that race does not exist. (The conventional wisdom is coming to be known as Lewontin's Fallacy: that because most genes may be found in all human groups, the groups don't differ at all. But patterns of correlation among genes do differ between groups, and different clusters of correlated genes correspond well to the major races labeled by common sense. )

If he is right (and I understand that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy) then the current article deserves its own page. Dawkins uses the term as well in The Ancestor's Tale. I think that's notable enough. Arbor 14:20, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree that Lewontin's fallacy deserves its own page because a number of writers other than Edwards have described it from somewhat different points of view, and different levels of technical detail. Merging it into Race would only make that poor entry even more confusing. DonSiano 16:02, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
  • As a student of Lewontin's I'm not especially fond of Edwards' choice of title, but nonetheless Edwards is entirely correct. It's important to note that the scientific questions asked by Lewontin and Edwards were different. Lewontin asked "What proportion of genetic variation (in the analysis of variance sense) in humans is within and among populations?" The answer is that ca. 85% is within populations, the rest among populations and races. This is the answer Lewontin gave, and it is entirely correct. Edwards asked "Can individual humans be assigned to races from genetic data?", or, alternatively, "Can human races be diagnosed (in the taxonomic sense)?" The answer is yes, they can. Edwards shows that his answer to his question is entirely compatible with Lewontin's answer to his (i.e. Lewontin's) question. A paper by Rosenberg et al. (2002. Science 298:2381–2385) clearly illustrates for a large data set the truth of both Lewontin and Edwards' answers to their respective questions. Lewontin goes on from his finding (with which Edwards entirely agrees), to argue further that this level of difference between races is not worthy of taxonomic recognition. Edwards doesn't actually express an opinion about whether human races should be recognized taxonomically, but does show that the 85/15 division of within/among population variation is no bar to doing so. Lewontin and Edwards agree on the moral equality of human beings; Edwards just doesn't want that moral equality to depend on any contingent facts of genetic similarity. Lewontin wouldn't want it to either, but regards the high genetic similarity among human races (which is much lower among races in some other species) as empirical reinforcement for his moral conclusion.
  • Parenthetically, of the two links concerning some commercial genotyping method, one was dead, and the other was to a poorly written patent application. The patent applicants do have some papers on the method in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. A reference to one or more of these might be more useful, but there are loads of such methods, and no claim by the authors of this one that it is any particular way inspired by or related to Edwards' critiques of Lewontin, so I deleted both. Also, Edwards discusses ordination more than cluster analysis, so I added that in.
  • As regards the merge with A.W.F. Edwards, I wouldn't normally endorse a page for a single paper, but a merge would, as Danny Yee correctly notes, drastically imbalance that article (Edwards' signal accomplishments are in the origination of quantitative phylogenetic methods and the use of likelihood in scientific inference, not this paper), and the evidence presented here by other editors shows that the term has leaked into the general culture, so I would somewhat reluctantly endorse keeping a separate page.-- MayerG 07:10, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

.

I have taken the liberty of writing a paragraph at the end of this article trying to succinctly summarize the different questions that Lewontin and Edwards are asking, and arguing that the Fallacy is or is not a fallacy depending on what question is being asked. (I am a student of the one and an old friend of the other so I'm trying not to get partisan). I would be happy to see my paragraph modified or withdrawn depending on the reaction here. I have no immediate opinions on the merging issue. Felsenst

[Copy from Talk:A.W.F._Edwards ] Oppose merger of the Edwards article and the Lewontin's Fallacy article. Edwards has been a pioneer in a wide variety of disciplines. That can and should be distinguished from his work on Lewontin's Fallacy, because the latter has taken on a life of its own in academia, genetics and popular politics and media. To ensure that Edwards' other work is given due attention, i.e., to prevent the "tail from wagging the dog", the Fallacy should be left as a stand-alone article. Lethiere 20:25, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree. I've heard of Edwards on many occasions, without ever hearing of Lewontin's fallacy. Michael Hardy 21:51, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Based on Pinker's summary ("The conventional wisdom is coming to be known as Lewontin's Fallacy")[4] and along the lines of Lethiere's above comment ("[Lewontin's Fallacy] has taken on a life of its own in academia, genetics and popular politics and media") a merge seems unnecessary. Does anyone have arguments against closing the merge proposal?--Nectar 22:35, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Different questions?

I notice that Nectarflowed added a request for a reference to my assertion that "Whether or not the Fallacy is a fallacy depends on the question being asked." I have reverted this, as I don't think it needs a reference. Greg Mayer has made essentially the same point as I did in his contribution above. If you have a bunch of traits that each differ by a modest amount between two populations (say the differences of population mean are 0.1 within-population standard deviations) then with enough traits on an individual you can assign it almost unambiguously to its correct population. Does that mean the differences between the populations are "large"? It entirely depends on whether you want that statement to imply that the differences of a typical trait are large (they aren't) or you want it to imply that one can distinguish individuals from different populations using enough traits (you can). Felsenst 20:01, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

The problem is WP:NOR. I have no doubt that a reasonable argument can be made that they were asking different questions, but as far as I know, such an argument has never been published. Perhpas you or Dr. Mayer could write a response to Edwards, which we could then cite. --Rikurzhen 20:16, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
How about this one? Chakraborty, R. 1982. Allocation versus variation: The issue of genetic differences between human racial groups. American Naturalist 120: 403-404. The difference between these two ways of describing differences between groups were rather thoroughly hashed out in that journal in the late 1970s and early 1980s and don't need a new paper by Greg or me. Felsenst 21:20, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Probably good enough. --Rikurzhen 21:30, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Caricatures ... of what?

My "caricature" of Edwards's position was removed, leaving the caricature of Lewontin's position. I think we need to discuss this. If no one wants to do so, I will reinsert my caricature. If the ability to distinguish two populations by using multiple characters implies that "race is a valid taxonomic construct" and if we can distinguish Swedes and Norwegians using multiple genetic loci, why is that not relevant? Why does it mean that we don't get to call them different races? Felsenst 14:56, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree with your point and the inclusion of your caricature. Let's put it back in Terry 04:43, 3 December 2006 (UTC)


Misleading article.

Rosenberg2007.png

This article does not represent the scientific consensus on this topic. What it represents is largely the agenda of the Pioneer Fund and the American Enterprise Institute. There are any number of articles published in the last 5 years that specifically refute all the claims made in this article, most especially the claim that "genetic differentiation is greatest when defined on a continental basis". It's demonstrably false.

This article was written as a sock-puppet reference for a larger argument about the validity of race in genetics. On those grounds it should be rewritten or deleted, since its scope is both narrow and crafted with intention to deceive.

Insofar as this article is a synthesis of cherry-picked racist sources, it also qualifies as original research, and it should be deleted entirely. --76.222.55.170 (talk) 08:12, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

The original motivation behind the article may be as you say (I don't know). But your summary exaggerates. The fourth paragraph, about whether or not there is a fallacy, is mine except for the last sentence, and is aimed at countering the idea that "race" has some special status as a level of human differentiation. Felsenst (talk) 13:36, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm wondering about the statement "If, on the other hand, "real differences" are considered to exist when individuals can be accurately classified using a number of traits, then human races are distinct." I'm concerned with the claim about "races" being distinct if Lewontin's observations is a fallacy. Generally Edwards' classification strategy doesn't address Lewontins claim about "race". Edwards states that using his scheme it is possible to classify groups of people into what are sometimes called "ancestral groups" and sometimes called "clusters". Witherspoon's 2007 paper addresses Lewontin's observation to a greater extent because it specifically addresses the problem about inter individual difference. Lewontin's claim, as I remember it, was that if ~85% of genetic variation is distributed within grup, then any pair of individuals from different groups are almost as likely to be more similar to each other than any pair of individuals from a different group, he uses this observation to say that "biological race" is meaningless and that classification of people into "races" is therefore fruitless. Edwards does not address this observation. Edwards is really saying that most individuals in a population are more genetically similar to their own population "average" genetic type than they are to the "average" genetic type for a different population when many loci are considered. Witherspoon directly addresses Lewontin's claim and finds support for Lewontin's it. In the end it's not really about "race". The paper cited in the article by, Wilson et al. (2001) also makes the point that "Our implementation of STRUCTURE is primarily meant to show that familiar ethnic labels are not accurate guides to genetic structure. We have not attempted to provide a definitive description of human population structure. The results of STRUCTURE can, in fact, be quite difficult to interpret." The best set of papers to discuss if "race" is the issue are those by Noah Rosenberg and the various responses to his publications. Most importantly when we look at Rosenberg's data (I included a picture of the results of one of his clustering analyses on this talk page) it is apparent that most individuals actually belong to many "clusters" at the same time. This must lead us to conclude that, if we consider each "cluster" to actually represents something historically valid in human genetic history (such as an ancestral group), or if you like, if each cluster is a "race", then the majority of individuals are "multiracial". In response to Rosenberg's 2002 paper [5] (that was actually cited in the NYTimes, of all places, as "proving" that there are 5 "races"), Serre and Pääbo (2004) [6] pointed out that membership of many "clusters" can be taken as evidence for clinality in human population structure, and in response Rosenberg in 2005 actually agreed: "Serre and Pääbo [10] argue that human genetic diversity consists of clines of variation in allele frequencies. We agree and had commented on this issue in our original paper." and go on to say that clustering analyses should not be used to infer the existence of "biological race": "Our evidence for clustering should not be taken as evidence of our support of any particular concept of “biological race.” In general, representations of human genetic diversity are evaluated based on their ability to facilitate further research into such topics as human evolutionary history and the identification of medically important genotypes that vary in frequency across populations.... The arguments about the existence or nonexistence of “biological races” in the absence of a specific context are largely orthogonal to the question of scientific utility, and they should not obscure the fact that, ultimately, the primary goals for studies of genetic variation in humans are to make inferences about human evolutionary history, human biology, and the genetic causes of disease."[7] We need to reflect the fact that Edwards's paper is a theoretical paper, he wrote it without knowing specifically what the results for large scale clustering analyses might be. There seems to be a growing body of evidence that clustering analyses don't tell us the whole story, and that they certainly don't provide anything like evidence for the existence of "races". Rosenberg's more recent papers support the observation made in the article that clusters are highly dependent upon sampling strategy. For example in their 2002 paper Rosenberg found 6 clusters for the populations that they had samples for (52 populations I believe), with only a couple of sample populations from the northern Indian subcontinent. But when they add a great deal more samples from the Indian subcontinental peninsula, they suddenly get an extra cluster popping up for the Indian population. The peoples from northern India that been primarily been in the same "cluster" as Europeans etc in their original 2002 paper, but now they have significant membership of this new Indian cluster.[8] Rosenberg's lab has more recently produced a paper that includes a great deal more population samples from the Americas, and that paper produces different clusters again, though unfortunately they don't include the extra Indian subcontinental samples in this.[9] Clearly clustering analyses are highly influenced by sampling strategy and the only way to address this is to sample by geography and not by "ethnic group", but that's what anthropologists like Jonathan Marks have said all along. In the end the problem is not about the existence or nonexistence of "race", but whether self reported ancestry is a good way to assess medical risk. The jury is still out, but there is more and more evidence that "races" is certainly not a good measure of genetic homogeneity. Alun (talk) 12:30, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

removed pov edit

I removed this obviously pov edit. It takes a single sentence out of context and presents it as if it the conclusion of Witherspoon's paper. Actually if one looks at what Witherspoon says in context then it is more apparent that he is making the opposite point to this pov-edit, indeed the whole thrust of the paper is to show that accurate classification is misleading with regards to genetic similarities between individuals. However, if genetic similarity is measured over many thousands of loci, the answer becomes ‘‘never’’ when individuals are sampled from geographically separated populations. On the other hand, if the entire world population were analyzed, the inclusion of many closely related and admixed populations would increase v. This is illustrated by the fact that v and the classification error rates, CC and CT, all remain greater than zero when such populations are analyzed, despite the use of .10,000 polymorphisms (Table 1, microarray data set; Figure 2D). In a similar vein, Romualdi et al. (2002) and Serre and Paabo (2004) have suggested that highly accurate classification of individuals from continuously sampled (and therefore closely related) populations may be impossible. However, those studies lacked the statistical power required to answer that question (see Rosenberg et al. 2005). Omitted text in bold. I mean come on, this sort of thing is totally unacceptable. Alun (talk) 20:19, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

It's not a POV edit, and I certainly did not try to represent it as THE conclusion of the paper. In the quote I added it is said explicitly that the result holds only "when individuals are sampled from geographically separated populations". Implicitly it's clear from this quote that if the individuals in question are from geographically close populations the result is different. However, if you feel that it is POV, I have nothing against quoting the entire thing. It may be wiser to use a shorter paraphrase though.
In any case, the section on the Witherspoon et al. paper is definitely POV if the stuff I quoted is not included. In its current form the section suggests that even when "the most distinct populations" are considered, individuals are frequently more similar to members of other populations than to members of their own population, which is contradicted by the paper's finding that all members of two geographically separated populations are more similar to anybody in their own population than anybody in the other population if enough markers are used.
--Victor Chmara (talk) 19:52, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Actually your claim that "the section on the Witherspoon et al. paper is definitely POV if the stuff I quoted is not included" because "is contradicted by the paper's finding that all members of two geographically separated populations are more similar to anybody in their own population than anybody in the other population" is incorrect. Look at the article again and look at what Witherspoon et al. actually say, Witherspoon et al. do not say that "all members of two geographically separated populations are more similar to anybody in their own population than anybody in the other population", that's wrong. What the Witherspoon et al. paper says is that members of geographically separated populations are always more similar to members of their own population than they are to members of another population if enough loci are used to discriminate them, but that this observation only applies to very extreme populations, i.e. Africa, Europe and East Asia: "Thus the answer to the question 'How often is a pair of individuals from one population genetically more dissimilar than two individuals chosen from two different populations?' depends on the number of polymorphisms used to define that dissimilarity and the populations being compared." Actually the section you appear to be objecting to as "pov" is Witherspoon et al.s primary conclusion, i.e. that when hundreds of loci are used then even individuals in the most geographically separated populations can be more similar to members of another population than to members of their own population. But Witherspoon uses samples from only three extremely distant regions for these geographically separated populations, sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Europe. Even for these three regions it is apparent that it is impossible to classify accurately even with 10,000 loci, (fig 2E), which is why he concludes that for these three distinct populations it is possible, but only for "many thousands" of loci. But Witherspoon's most important point is that to accurately classify humans on a global scale requires sampling from much more than the geographic extremes, it requires sampling from all regions, i.e. it requires continuous sampling, and that this will make it impossible for any individual to always be more similar to someone from their own population than to someone from a different population "On the other hand, if the entire world population were analyzed, the inclusion of many closely related and admixed populations would increase ." This is because for three populations we are comparing say an European with another European and an European with an East Asian or a sub-Saharan African, but the inclusion of many populations from lots of regions will not only increase the number of samples, it will increase the number of genetically intermediate populations. So instead of the question being "how often is an European more similar to an African or an East Asian than to another European?" the question becomes "how often is an European more similar to a Middle Eastern person, or a North African person, or a central Asian person or an Indian person, or a Far Eastern person, or a Native Australian person, or a Native American person (etc. etc.) than to another European person?" This will dramatically increase . This becomes even more tricky when a Middle eastern person might be say a Turk, but the European person is say Greek. This observation directly contradicts what Edwards claims because Edwards claims that "It is not true that 'racial classification is .. . of virtually no genetic or taxonomic significance'. It is not true, as Nature claimed, that 'two random individuals from any one group are almost as different as any two random individuals from the entire world', and it is not true, as the New Scientist claimed, that 'two individuals are different because they are individuals, not because they belong to different races' and that 'you can’t predict someone’s race by their genes.'" When we use primary sources to cite information on Wikipedia we need to be very careful, and we're urged to be vigilant when we do. When we do cite these sources we need to pay attention to their general conclusions and not get bogged down too much with specifics. Witherspoon et al. paper seeks to address the apparently contradictory observations that when we can use multiple loci to classify individuals very accurately, but that individuals are still more often more similar to members of a different group than they are to members of their own group. Witherspoon et al. provide the observation that inter-individual differences are masked by population level traits, and that this is due to the high level of inter-individual variation within all human populations. To put it another way, even those members of the same "cluster" are not always more genetically similar to each other than they are to members of a different "cluster", rather they are all more similar to the "typical" member of their own cluster than they are to the "typical" member of another cluster. Witherspoon et al. show that Edwards's claims for using many loci for classification may actually be incorrect, and that it is true that 'racial classification is .. . of virtually no genetic or taxonomic significance', it is true, as Nature claimed, that 'two random individuals from any one group are almost as different as any two random individuals from the entire world', and it is true, as the New Scientist claimed, that 'two individuals are different because they are individuals, not because they belong to different races' and that 'you can’t predict someone’s race by their genes.' Alun (talk) 06:15, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Firstly, please use paragraph breaks! Secondly, you strategically misquote what I wrote to make it seem as if I misrepresented the paper. I said "all members of two geographically separated populations are more similar to anybody in their own population than anybody in the other population if enough markers are used". Why did you omit the bolded bit?
Edwards' conclusion is correct due to the fact that people can be accurately grouped into races or whatever you call them using (a relatively small number of) genetic markers. This in itself proves that the race concept has some genetic validity. The fact that some individuals in those groups may be more similar to people in other groups does not invalidate this finding. You can predict someone's race or geographic ancestry by their genes with high precision. Did you notice the recent 500,000-SNP study where they were able to discern different European ethnicities from each other pretty accurately?
Moreover, the fact that black Africans, Europeans, and East Asians are in fact always more similar to members of their own group than to members of the other two groups is important for several reasons. In America, for example, the vast majority of people descend from those groups, and thus are generally more similar to their own group than to the rest of the population. The three groups correspond to classical and popular racial classifications, too. Additionally, the majority of people in the world belong to these three groups, which means that the claim that "two random individuals from any one group are almost as different as any two random individuals from the entire world" is false. Edwards was correct again.
In fact, Witherspoon et al. only surmise that geographically closer populations overlap considerably even in a more fine-grained analysis ("those studies lacked the statistical power required to answer that question"). Personally, I think there must be some overlap between geographically close populations, but blacks, whites, and East Asians are unlikely to be the only populations that are distinct from each other. Lewontin's 1972 paper analysed Caucasians, Africans, Mongoloids, South Asians, Aborigines, Amerinds, Oceanians, and Australian Aborigines, and I'd expect most if not all of those populations to be distinct from each other in the way the three major groups are. Of course, to find these differences you must use enough genetic markers. If you use only a small number of markers, you may not be able to tell a human being apart from a horse.
--Victor Chmara (talk) 09:10, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

1) I did nothing of the sort, you make this claim twice and I quoted your first use of this claim, where you say "individuals are frequently more similar to members of other populations than to members of their own population, which is contradicted by the paper's finding". I certainly didn't do this to imply that you "misrepresented" anything. I apologise if I inadvertently misrepresented you.

2) It is irrelevant whether you believe Edwards's assertion is correct or not. You're entitled to believe this, but we cannot include our own beliefs in Wikipedia articles. It's incorrect to claim that "people can be accurately grouped into races or whatever you call them using (a relatively small number of) genetic markers". Clustering can be observed when many markers are used, for example Rosenberg et al. use over three hundred before they get good clustering. Even then there are no "races" and clusters do not conform to so called "races". The fact is that in all clustering anaslyses the vast majority of individuals belong to more than one "cluster", look at the image from Rosenberg's 2007 paper further up this talk page, very few individuals actually belong to a single "cluster", so if a "cluster" is a "race" then we are mostly "multiracial". Furthermore the claim that this "proves that the race concept has some genetic validity" is highly subjective. Clustering analyses are highly dependent upon sampling strategy. When we sample from some locations we might get a general clustering that more or less corresponds to some concepts of "race" but it really does dpend on how one defines "race". There are models for "race" that produce over 100 "races" and there are models of "race" that produce two "races". Before one can pretend that clustering analyses support any particular "race" concept then one has to define what one means by "race" and which "race" concept one thinks they support. Rosenberg's first paper in 2002 produced six clusters, including a cluster in which Kalash people had majority membership, but in which o other group did, does this mean the Kalash people are a "race"? By your reasoning they are. Secondly in Rosenberg's first paper people from Pakistan mostly belonged to the same cluster as people from Europe, but in Rosenberg's 2007 paper, which included more samples from southern India, they suddenly belonged to a new cluster associated maily with the Indian subcontinent, producing seven clusters. Again most individuals belonged to more than one cluster. Besides what does it mean that "race" has "some genetic validity"? It's a throwaway phrase. The fact that I'm from Great Britain and my wife is from Finland has "some genetic validity". People from different parts of the world tend to vary somewhat genetically, but the existence of geographically distributed genetic diversity is not support for any particular "race" concept. "Race" as biologists use it means subspecies, and these are usually defined phylogenetically, with identifiable boundaries between each phylogenetic group, We don't see that in the global human population.

3) The point you try to make here is so totally incorrect that it's hard to know where to begin. Firstly it is incorrect to claim that Africans, Europeans and East Asians are almost always more similar to members of their own group than to members of the other groups, that's only true if enough loci are investigated, it would not be true, for example if common alleles are investigated, as Witherspoon point out. As for "In America, for example, the vast majority of people descend from those groups, and thus are generally more similar to their own group than to the rest of the population". It is true that the vast majority of Americans are descended from African, European and Native Americans (and not from East Asians as you claim), but of course the conclusion that these groups in America are therefore more similar to the populations from those parts of the world than thy are to each other is not necessarily true, that assumption derives from the so called "color line", which assumes that there has been no mixture between these groups, and that assumption is demonstrably incorrect. For example the typical African-American has about 20% European ancestry and about 30% of European Americans have between 2-20% of African ancestry, clearly a large proportion of the genes these people carry are derived from other groups, that would increase significantly. The level of Native American ancestry for European Americans is even higher. The terms European American, Native American and African American are therefore culturally defined and not genetically defined. Or to put it another way, Barac Obama is an African American, but it is incorrect to claim that he's more similar to an African than to an European because of this, his mother identifies as European American. Furthermore Obama's father comes from Kenya, and Kenyan's are not genetically identical to people from West Africa, the origin of most of the African ancestry of African Americans. So the European American and African American populations are admixed populations, and that's a fact. Pretending that the color line is real is a game they play in the USA all the time, but it does not reflect the true ancestry of the population of the USA.

4) "In fact, Witherspoon et al. only surmise that geographically closer populations overlap considerably even in a more fine-grained analysis" So you haven't actually read the paper then? When they actually do include intermediate populations, Indian, Native American, New Guinean, African American, and Hispano–Latino as well as their original samples, they find that they cannot always distinguish members of these groups from each other. "those studies lacked the statistical power required to answer that question" - yes they did, which is why Witherspoon et al. wrote this paper, to provide the the statistical power to address the claims made in those previous papers. Witherspoon et al. not only provided the statistical tools to answer the question, they answer it with a resounding "no we cannot accurately classify humans on an individual level".

Witherspoon's paper and conclusions are clear and relevant, they do show that inter individual differences are important, and they do cast doubt on the utility of clustering analyses. They clearly show that population level traits can be misleading when it comes to measuring differences between individuals, and they say this clearly. Obviously you believe strongly in racialism, but when science does not support your belief, then it is not right to try to claim that scientists are saying somethign they clearly are not saying, and it is not right to take what they do say out of context to promote your personal point of view on Wikipedia. Alun (talk) 11:04, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

  • A quick not on Wikipedia policies. Wikipedia has a strictly neutral point of view policy. This means that we include all relevant points of view. While it is true that some comentators have claimed that clustering analyses support the idea of "race", one has to be clear what these commentators mean when they say this. For example the most blatant claim was made by Nicholas Wade in the NY Times, where he claims that Rosenberg et al. 2002 provide support for a "five race" model. On the other hand Neil Risch as claimed that he believes that clustering analyses show that "race" is real, but does not attempt to describe what he means by "race", and we are left with the vague idea that "race" is being used as a synonym for geographically distributed variation, or some sort of genetic sub structure within the global human population. Clearly the human population does have a genetic substructure, no one has claimed that humans are genetically homogeneous, that claim has no worth. But substructure does not necessarily provide support for "race" concepts. Armand Leroy refines this when he says that "Study enough genes in enough people and one could sort the world's population into 10, 100, perhaps 1,000 groups, each located somewhere on the map... Race is merely a shorthand that enables us to speak sensibly, though with no great precision, about genetic rather than cultural or political differences." So Leroy and Risch seem to have a vague undefined concept of "race" that seems to define "race" as any group that can be genetically identified wen enough loci and enough populations are included in any analysis. This is a valid point of view to include on Wikipedia and I certainly don't want to keep it out. But Witherspoon provide evidence that this view may be simplistic, that these classifications mask a great deal of gene sharing and similarity between individuals from different clusters. Witherspoon's point of view is equally valid, and I can't help but feel that your edit took something from Witherspoon's paper out of context and undermined the point the paper was making. I'm not necessarily against including the comment that you added, but we need to include it in context, and I think we've got too much into a discussion about who is "right", when that should not really be our main point of discussion on the talk page. Cheers, Alun (talk) 05:31, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Shriver et al. found that the 30% of white Americans who have some African ancestry average around 2.3% of it. African Americans, on the other hand, have 80% African ancestry on average. This is means that there's not much overlap between the populations. The vast majority of Americans are of European, sub-Saharan African, or East Asian ancestry; in fact, the vast majority of Americans are of European ancestry.
The Witherspoon et al. paper supports the common-sensical position that a more in-depth population genetics analysis reveals clear differences between ancestrally separated populations, whereas a more superficial analysis hides some of these differences. As I said, most people on this planet are East Asian, white, or black, all of whom are more similar to anybody in their own group than anybody in the other groups, so it's nonsense to claim that there's virtually no differences between humans from different parts of the earth. More extensive studies, perhaps comparing entire genomes, will no doubt reveal even more differences between populations.
As to "racialism", if the race-denialist agenda was applied to classifying flora and fauna, lots of current classifications would have to be scrapped.
I'm not interested in debating this topic further, but I suggest we add something like the following at the end of the paragraph discussing the Witherspoon et al. paper:
However, Witherspoon et al. also found that in analyses of geographically separated populations (such as Europeans, sub-Saharan Africans, and East Asians), where thousands of loci are investigated, a pair of individuals from one population are genetically always more similar to each other than two individuals chosen from two different populations. On the other hand, they maintain that closely related and admixed populations cannot be perfectly distinguished from each other in this manner even if more than 10,000 polymorphisms are used.
--Victor Chmara (talk) 13:55, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
OK, now I'm pretty sure you're User talk:MoritzB because you make exactly the same arguments as him. Your arguments seem to be nothing more than your personal opinion, and frankly I'm not interested in what you believe about so called "races". Alun (talk) 15:29, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Calm down, Alun! Victor Chmara is the only username I've ever had in Wikipedia, but many other users undoubtedly share my views on this topic. Like I said, I'm not interested in debating you any further. I'm just asking if you are opposed to me modifying the article in the above mentioned manner. --Victor Chmara (talk) 15:43, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Well I had a go at adding the info. If you're unhappy with my edit let's discuss the best way to include it further. Cheers. Alun (talk) 21:18, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
A naive question: has someone used the Witherspoon method to compare human anf chimp populations? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Portoflip (talkcontribs) 20:38, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Infobox misleading?

The Infobox which tries to clarify the calculations does not do so. In particular the statement that

"For three loci blue, red and green, it becomes apparent that there is a correlation between certain allele frequencies. In this example Population I displays a correlation between wild-type blue (+) 70%, mutant red (-) 70% and wild type green (+) 70%."

seems to say that there are some mysterious correlations within each of the two populations. In other words, it argues that there is linkage disequilibrium within each of the populations and that the classification somehow relies on that. Of course, if the author makes up haplotypes they can have any disequilibria that they want. But my understanding is that the "correlations" Edwards relied on were among populations. Thus if population 1 has frequency 0.7 for A and 0.7 for B, and population 2 has 0.3 and 0.3, but within each population there is no linkage disequilibrium, then there is no correlation of the presence of A and the presence of B on haplotypes within a population, but when we pool both populations there will be linkage disequilibrium (and hence correlation) overall. Having a A then makes you more likely to also have a B on the same haplotype, as it makes you more likely to come from population 1. Edwards calling this "correlation structure" is not a clear way to describe it, and the main body of this article says that

"This happens because of correlations between locus frequencies within each population"

which implies that there is some sort of correlation within each population. The author of the Infobox has used the same terms. To most readers it will imply that there is some mysterious extra correlation in addition to the populations simply having different gene frequencies at two (or more) loci. Felsenst (talk) 13:12, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

If there is a mistake then it's my fault. I did my best to try and accurately report what I read in Edwards's paper and I don't think I made any mistake, his explanation was pretty straighforward. I'm not sure that I follow what you are saying. I don't think it's about linkage disequilibrium, I don't think it says that these allele frequencies are non-random, as they are in linkage disequilibrium. As I understand it, and I may be mistaken, the correlations between allele frequencies are within populations. This is because in say population 1 the wt blue tends to accompany (ie correlate with) the mutant red and the wild type green. That's how we find correlations between alleles within populations. Anyway, I'm open to the idea that I might have made a mistake and if I have it was unintentional. Please feel free to change the infobox if you think it's inaccurate. Cheers. Alun (talk) 17:28, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
This makes it apparent that you did interpret Edwards that way. I think that his description is what is really the problem. Let me go reread Edwards and see whether he was saying what you took him to be saying. My guess is that he did not intend the information to come from different linkage disequilibrium patterns in different populations, just from the differences in allele frequency between populations. However of course linkage disequilibrium patterns can also differ between populations. (By the way, I also don't think you can just multiply the probabilities (0.3 x 0.3 x 0.3) the way you do in the Infobox). Felsenst (talk) 12:18, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, any clarifications you can provide are more than welcome :) Alun (talk) 16:51, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Looking at Edwards' paper, he does not say explicitly whether the "correlations" are within populations or between populations. But his numerical examples all (implicitly) make the assumption that genotypes at different loci within a population are independently distributed, and hence that there is no linkage disequilibrium within populations. For example, he says (on page 800, right column halfway down):
"With loci, therefore, the distance between two individuals from the same population will be binomial with mean and variance and if from different populations binomial with mean and variance . These variances are, of course, the same."
Adding up the variances in that way (as when he multiplies the variance by ) implies that the variation at the different loci is independent within each population. So it follows that the "correlations" he mentions are correlations in the pooled aggregate of the populations, not within a population. If you were misled by his presentation, I can't say I blame you. Felsenst (talk) 15:55, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
OK, thanks, I've removed the infobox. I'll have to have a think about the best way to change it. Any suggestions are more than welcome. Cheers, Alun (talk) 16:28, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
OK, I had a look at Edwards again and I think I can see where I went wrong. I'm going to have a go at rewriting the infobox at some time soon because I think it would be good to try and explain how Edwards proposes classification. I think I'll stick to his first example, with classification based on summing all the + alleles. If you don't mid I'll run it by you after I've had a go at rewriting it. Cheers. Alun (talk) 05:18, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I have corrected the wording about "correlations" in the second paragraph of the article. I think what I put in is now correct but the sentence is long-winded, and probably should be made into two sentences. A good Infobox would help people understand where the mysterious "correlations" are. Felsenst (talk) 12:33, 10 October 2008 (UTC)


removal of text

I removed some text that cited a blog post. We use reliable sources here, not claims made by people on blogs, especially biased racist blogs like those fascists at gene expression. This site it¨s the antithesis of what Wikipedia stands for. Alun (talk) 06:23, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

you are right about blogs, but with your attitude of "genetics is fascism" you should probably excuse yourself from editing these topics. Stop turing every article you touch into ideological mud-flinging. It is your behaviour and your ideological prejudice that is the antithesis to Wikipedia. --dab (𒁳) 11:27, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Clearly being unbiased is the antithesis of wikipedia in your eyes then dab. Gene Expression is not a reliable source, and to anyone who has ever had the misfortune to accidentally come across it would know that. You don't even correctly represent what I say, you put quotes around "genetics is fascism", but I didn't say that, so you're obviously not quoting me, but are pretending that this is what I said by putting quote marks there. I must say that having seen your contributions to articles on Wikipeda, you calling anyone else biased has a massive smack of hypocrisy dab. And suggesting that I should not edit is bullying. You are not in charge here, though you often act as if you are. I guess if you give someone a title like "admin" they think it gives them authority or something. Go and take it to an RfC if you want, or if I have broken any rules then block me. But don't try to bully or intimidate me again. Alun (talk) 12:52, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Besides which, I am a professional geneticist, so why would I think genetics is fascism? It's my job. But obviously many fascists have misused genetics, and I am doing my best to make sure that my profession is not misrepresented. Apparently you think that makes me unreliable. I really don't understand your attitude dab. Alun (talk) 12:54, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Dab, I’d like to point out that whether Gene Expression can be considered a reliable source in this case is not clear-cut. This is a quote from Wikipedia:Verifiability:
Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. However, caution should be exercised when using such sources: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else is likely to have done so.
Similarly, some self-published sources may be acceptable if substantial independent evidence for their reliability is found. For instance, widespread citations without comment by other reputable sources are a good indicator of reliability, while widespread doubts about accuracy weigh against the self-published source. If outside citation is the main indicator of reliability, particular care should be taken to adhere to other guidelines and policies, and to not represent unduly contentious claims. The goal is to reflect established views of sources as far as we can determine them.
The Gene Expression post that was being cited passes both of these tests. The material in question was written by Gregory Cochran, who is the author of several peer-reviewed papers about race and genetics, as well as of the book The 10,000 year explosion, which is also about this topic. Gene Expression is also arguably the most respected genetics blog that exist; at least one of its articles has been republished in the professional journal Medical Hypothesis, and its founder, Jason Malloy, has been interviewed about race and genetics by The New York Times.
In my opinion, material at Gene Expression written by Gregory Cochran about race and genetics is reliable enough to be cited on Wikipedia, although I won’t add it back to the article if you disagree. --Captain Occam (talk) 17:55, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
I've just put the paragraph cited to Cochran at Gene Expression back in the article. Dab, you can remove it again if you think I'm mistaken about him meeting Wikipedia's standards for verifiability, but if you do I'd appreciate you explaining your reasoning here so we can discuss this. --Captain Occam (talk) 07:06, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
I have removed it, the blog in question was not written by Cochran, but by someone else who is claiming this is Cochrane's result. That is not good enough. Read the blog Occam, what you are saying is a lie, you are claimig that the blog is by Cochrane, but it's not, the blog states

Gregory Cochran and Birch Barlow have brought to my attention that the claim that people from different races are more genetically similar 1/3 of the time, whether the intended interpretation of Bamshad's paper or not, is not true except for single DNA segments.

That is an unsubstantiated claim. This is not published by a reliable or reputable source. And yet according to dab it is me who is at fault? I'm at fault for keeping unreliable info that comes from unreliable sources that is not fact checked, that could have been written by anyone out of Wikipedia, and yet it's me who is the antithesis of what Wikipedia stands for. Sorry dab, but you're way out of line here. Alun (talk) 12:52, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
There is no way that that is even close to being a reliable source for this article. As a side note - Alun, I believe that dab agreed with everything in your opening statement to this section up to the first instance of "blogs", but asked that you tone down an apparent WP:BATTLEGROUND attitude. I am confused by the above vitriol. - 2/0 (cont.) 19:05, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Well 2/0 dab's post made me angry, his post was hardly going to calm matters down. In fact, by any objective measure, dab's post was deliberately abusive and designed to inflame the situation. Whereas all I did was claim that a specific blog was racist, an opinion that I am entitled to hold and express, dab launched an attack on my ability and character. Now I ask you, is that how any editor should behave? Look at what he said about me
  • "your attitude of "genetics is fascism""
That's not my attitude at all, my attitude is that the blog in question is racist.
  • "you should probably excuse yourself from editing these topics"
Why? I've added a great deal of content to this article, including the infobox which is an explanation of the method used in Edward's actual paper. But apparently I'm not fit t contribute? Dab doesn't have the authorty to tell editors what they can or can't do.
  • "It is your behaviour and your ideological prejudice that is the antithesis to Wikipedia."
Seriously? So what's wrong with my behaviour? This blanket statement is little more than an unsupported attack upon my character. What does dab know about my "ideological attitude"? He's obviously trying to imply something, this sort of inuendo is damaging and much worse than anything I wrote because what I wrote wasn't directed at another editor. Besides, surely the antithesis of Wikipedia is adding unreliable content, and if an admin really thinks that making sharp comments on the talk page is more damaging than adding unreliable content, then I'd suggest that they should seriously think about their position as an admin. Dab has a history of inflaming situations and making personal attacks against editors he doesn't like Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Dbachmann 3.
If dab had wanted to comment seriously about my post, all he needed to do was agree with me about the blog and make a comment about dialing my language down, that would have de-escalated the situation and been sufficient. But instead he launches into an attack on me. Then I find he's been encouraging Occam to post about me on AN/I.[10] (here he makes several more unseemly and unsupported "guesses" about my character and motivations, and again states that I am unfit to edit here). It seems to me that this is borne out of some personal animosity dab has against me. I'm amazed that you are surprised by my response considering you have obviously read what dab wrote. Alun (talk) 05:32, 13 October 2009 (UTC)


Ok, we can still de-escalate this. Your fascism comment was out of line. I apologize for any escalating remarks on my part. If there is anything personal that still needs sorting out, come to my talkpage, ok? Let's go back to discussing the issue here.

This article contains some very insightful material, but its presentation is severely lacking. I agree we cannot use blogs, but as so often in genetics topics, the secondary sources are too recent to be summarized in any stable manner in tertiary sources we can use. If our genetics articles are to be anything beyond random piles of references to research papers, we need to give knowledgeable users some leeway to summarize the material in a coherent way.

This article is about a single 2003 paper making an important point on Human genetic clustering. Now unsurprisingly, Human genetic clustering is rather unreadable, just our generic pile of research papers. What we need to do with this article is take its core message and {{merge}} it into a cleaned-up version of Human genetic clustering. This will be a lot of work and we could spend our time more profitably digging into it than by bickering over "fascism" comments. --dab (𒁳) 07:47, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Agreed dab, my fascists comment was out of line. I appologise, there was no call for it. I think your suggestion is sound, when I get some time I'll look into some of the papers about this subject. Alun (talk) 08:05, 13 October 2009 (UTC)


Essence of criticism (not)

The article has been improved by removal of some of the excessive material. But the sentences that say

Talking of two genomes being "more similar" or "less similar" implies the existence of a metric. The most naive metric, and the one used implicitly by Lewontin, is that of simply counting the number SNPs. Edwards's criticism of Lewontin amounts to the statement that it is a "fallacy" to use this naive metric, because some SNPs may be in a meaningful way more significant to other SNPs.

are simply wrong. Edwards is making the point that with (enough) multiple loci one can distinguish between two populations. Lewontin is talking about average difference per locus, a different matter. Both of them are to be blamed for not talking enough about what question is being answered. But Edwards's method is not to look for particularly meaningful SNPs. That helps, but only a little bit. It is the multiple loci that do the job Edwards is trying to do. Felsenst (talk) 16:31, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Notability of this paper?

Is this really a paper notable enough for a separate Wikipedia article? How could that be shown through reliable secondary sources? -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 02:39, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

It's important, but I suppose it's ultimately also a merge candidate. Merge into race and genetics and/or Human genetic clustering (in fact, these two also largely overlap in scope). Sometimes it's a good idea to develop a minor topic as a standalone article which can still be merged if it becomes apparent that it doesn't have the full potential for an article. --dab (𒁳) 08:18, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your friendly suggestion. I look forward to hearing comments from other editors to see if a consensus develops. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 16:21, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I see the article here has been improved by recent edits. I have also become more familiar myself with the underlying professional literature, and I can see a basis for merging the content of this article into a section of an existing more comprehensive article, with redirect. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 15:06, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Re-title or merge?

The title is indeed somewhat POV. Although WP:Common name suggests otherwise, it might be better to re-title this to Lewontin's thesis or something like that. The problem is that whenever the word fallacy appears in the text, it implicitly gives some weight to Edwards'. Putting fallacy in scare quotes everywhere might be an option, but I'm not sure it would be much of an improvement. Tijfo098 (talk) 15:20, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

This might be cured just by merging the article into the appropriate section of another article, but I hear you. The current article title is not a standard term in the literature. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 04:08, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

well, the article isn't about "Lewontin's thesis" directly, it is about an article titled "Lewontin's Fallacy", so the title makes perfect sense. I agree there is a problem though. The problem isn't in the title but in the fact that this is a standalone article about a single academic paper. We don't usually do that unless the paper is of extreme importance. This isn't the case here, so the article should probably just be merged. --dab (𒁳) 06:12, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

I've read the whole chapter in Vogel and Motulsky's, and I'm in a position to write a WP:SPOV summary of this issue. Now, to write the WP:NPOV version I need to read what Lewontin later wrote about this too. I ask that any merger be stayed until I do that, because the article in which this is intended to be merged already has a summary of this at the "he said, she said" level, which is not NPOV for science matters. Tijfo098 (talk) 11:59, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
Tijfo098, feel free to do some rewriting in the target article, and then let's do the merge. We can fix more of the encyclopedic tone and point of view issues with better sourcing after the merger. I'm gathering sources meanwhile. I too have Vogel and Motulsky (just renewed at my friendly alma mater's library) at hand, along with several other current, reliable, secondary sources. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 02:27, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

Edwards's paper is called Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy. Perhaps we could use that as a title.--Victor Chmara (talk) 13:20, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

No. This article should not be just about one paper. It should be about L's argument, evidence, counter-evidence and counterarguments. Andreasen calls it (p. 463) "Lewontin’s genetic argument" (quotes in original)

  • Robin O. Andreasen, Biological Conceptions of Race in Mohan Matthen, Christopher Stephens, Philosophy of biology, Volume 3 of Handbook of the philosophy of science, Elsevier, 2007, ISBN 0444515437, pp. 455-481

Tijfo098 (talk) 14:55, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

I think merging into a section about Lewontin's argument in the article on Human genetic variation makes a lot of sense.·Maunus·ƛ· 15:15, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
There is very little discussion of the actual content of Edward's paper in this article. Much of the discussion concerns other studies. I agree that some of the information is better placed in other articles such as human genetic variation or race and genetics. If this article is to exist then it should specifically discuss "Edwards AW (August 2003). "Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy". BioEssays 25 (8): 798–801. doi:10.1002/bies.10315. PMID 12879450".The issue of having a dedicated article for a single publication is also relevant. Wapondaponda (talk) 17:02, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

The current title is among other things clearly POV and possibly a WP:BLP issue. If the article should exist it should be renamed to that of the study, "Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy" and mainly discuss this paper like any other Wikipedia article about a single publication. The more general question regarding whether genetics support the existence of races among humans is properly mainly discussed in the Race and genetics article. Due to the possible BLP issue I will quickly change the title.Miradre (talk) 06:36, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Is the chart relevent to the article, or is it OR/synthesis?

Pattern classification medium.JPG

The chart is supposedly intended to illustrate the correlation between height and weight in two hypothetical human populations. It appears not to be based on any sourced data, instead using invented data intended to 'prove' the very point it is supposed to be testing, and as such its use seems to be a breach of NPOV, and/or a synthesis. Unless someone can provide evidence that it is based on real data, I intend to remove it. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:31, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

There is no WP requirement that a chart only used to illustrate a mathematical argument must be based on real data.Miradre (talk) 19:32, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
This isn't a 'mathematical argument' - the chart purports to illustrate human populations. I shall delete it. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:38, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Please do, it clarifies nothing.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:46, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
I can change the text to clearly state that it is about a hypothetical population.Miradre (talk) 19:39, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Can you change the text to state that it is about a two imaginary populations chosen to 'prove' its validity? And can I add a third imaginary population to 'prove' (per the 'Multi-Locus Allele Clusters' infobox above) that the methodology is flawed if one finds a clinal variation in allele frequency, and doesn't preselect the data to suit? AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:54, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
The chart is only about illustrating the method. No claims about any real population is made. I will clarify when adding back the image.Miradre (talk) 19:57, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Further reading section

Per WP:Further reading, "Further reading is primarily intended for publications that were not used by editors to build the current article content, but which editors still recommend. Some editors list sources that they hope to use in the future to build the article in Further reading. This is neither encouraged nor prohibited." The sources I included in the Further reading are sources that, seemingly from the snippet have relevant information that should be incorporated into the article. I, however, do not have access to the full work, so instead of falsely trying to claim it serves as a reference in the article, I put it in Further reading as potential further references, if someone can access a full copy of it. Lastly, Mankind Quarterly is absolutely a reliable source, it is a freaking peer-reviewed journal. Just because it has been called racist doesn't mean it is unreliable, especially since you don't know what the article inside of it states. SilverserenC 21:52, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

How can you reccomend something you haven't even read? Also from WP:further reading "A large part, if not all, of the work should be directly about the subject of the article". I am reverting you again. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:58, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Simple example

A simple example might help to explain the fallacy. For example, suppose that group 1 exhibits equal numbers of AB and ab, while group 2 exhibits the same numbers of Ab and aB. Then each of A/a and B/b is independent of group, but AB is very strongly correlated. Of course that's just made up, but is there a similar, possibly even real, example in the literature? 195.10.225.68 (talk) 15:51, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Not only is it 'made up', it doesn't remotely resemble the situation that Lewontin and Edwards are discussing. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:18, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Can we please do something about the title?

It seems evident from the recent AfD debate [11] that most commentators agreed that the article title needed revision to something more neutral - i.e. one that didn't assert that Lewontin's argument was a fallacy, but instead that Edwards had described it as such. Can I ask for contributors to make suggestions for an alternative title, as a matter that needs resolution. For now, I have added a template to the article, drawing attention to the issue. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:19, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

I count 6 out of 14 in Favor of changing the article title, my count may be off, though. Andy, six could count for something, but does this honestly sound like consensus to you? --SlowhandMediator (talk) 02:07, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Boldly done. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:37, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
And now the article title has almost no connection to what the article is covering. This article is not about Lewontin's argument, but a paper response to Lewontin's argument. Why don't you just change it to the entire title of the paper, "Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy"? SilverserenC 00:11, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
because that paper is not notable. Of curse it will tak some tweaking t make the article cover its new topic.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:18, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
And also, of course, because the title of the paper isn't neutral... AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:22, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
The paper is notable according to the community at AfD. This action of trying to change the subject is blatantly going against community consensus. Furthermore, the title of a paper can't be non-neutral, the title is what it is. Something is non-neutral if we, within the encyclopedia, try to change it to something that it is not. That's exactly what you are doing here. SilverserenC 00:24, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
The AfD was not about the notabiliy of the paper but about the topic "lewontin's fallacy" - also it was clear hat consenus was to change the article's title to something neutral that covers both sides of the story. You seem confused about what neutraliy is - consider reading W:NPOV and WP:POVFORK.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:30, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Lewontin's Fallacy is the paper. It was always the paper. It is not a topic independent of the paper itself and all of the sources are discussing it in context of the paper. The other side of the argument is Lewontin's argument, which needs to be discussed in a separate article, as was stated at AfD. SilverserenC 00:32, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
That was stated by smeone in the afd yes, but it was wrong and also clearly not the consenus. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:37, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
You yourself stating it was wrong doesn't mean anything. You alone can't determine what the consensus is, especially since you have a Merge/Delete opinion on the subject, not making you very neutral in terms of the consensus. SilverserenC 00:47, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
But snce you vote keep automatically for all articles no matter how crappy hey are your opinions shsould be considered much more neutral? Please read the Afd agin - even several of the keep !voters clearly state the title needs to be changed. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:00, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
I think I am more qualified to comprehend the consensus of an AfD discussion, considering the number I have been involved in. I vote Keep 93% of the time and AfDs close in conjunction with that belief 87% of the time. This is just on my last 250 AfDs however. You, meanwhile, have only been involved in 68 AfD discussions throughout the past five years and you have been correct only 62% of the time. SilverserenC 01:08, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
For a discussion about an article regarding the application of statistics, you seem rather lax in your use of them. Snottywong's tool informs us that in the last 250 AfD's you have voted in, your vote matched the result 72.8% of the time. [12] Not that this tells us much. If, as you suggest, AfD's close as keep 87% of the time, then all you need to do is !vote keep for every AfD, to improve your success rate! AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:43, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
I included No Consensus closes in with that percentage, as they default to keep. And I never said that all AfDs close as Keep with that percentage, I usually only become involved in AfDs where I think I can improve the articles in question and make it a Keep. Just like what I did with this article. SilverserenC 01:59, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
"I included No Consensus closes in with that percentage". Yup. A nice example of how to mislead with statistics. Hence the rather strange wording I suppose: "AfDs close in conjunction with that belief 87% of the time". Have you considered a career in politics? AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:06, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
You seriously keep statistics of other person's Afd participation...tha is creepy. In ay case Afds areno abou being correct - it is no a quiz show. Perhaps your highr percentag of "correctness" is because you unlike me have an army of automatic keep voters to back you up. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:12, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Um, no, I just have access to the really awesome AfD Stats tool that Snottywong made. If you go through the toolserver stuff, you'll find some pretty cool things beyond just the edit counter. And i'm just going to ignore your comment about the ARS, beyond the fact that I haven't used a rescue template in more than 500 deletion discussions past, so most of the discussions i'm involved in don't even have any other ARS members show up. If they do show up, it's on their own prerogative after randomly stumbling onto the discussion. SilverserenC 01:20, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
ROFL! AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:16, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
"The title of a paper can't be non-neutral". Don't be ridiculous. The title asserts an opinion (that Lowontin's argument is fallacious) as a fact. That isn't neutral. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:34, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
I think what Silver Seren is trying to say is, the title is opinion, but reporting on the title is not opinion. Is it helpful to change the title of the article named after a paper, if someone is searching for the title of the paper?--SlowhandMediator (talk) 01:45, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
See, the issue with what you're doing is that you don't understand what WP:NPOV is about. It states "All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view." It means that our representation of the outside content must be done in a neutral manner. For example, if the subject of the an article is on a hypothetical notable speech given by what most consider to be an evil dictator, we cannot present the speech as being negative or as being given by an evil person. We can put in responses to the speech and what people think of it and that would be proper, but changing anything about the speech itself is actually non-neutral, because you're trying to represent the subject in some way that it is not.
'You can present the person as evil, to the extent that the sources do', is what you are saying right?--SlowhandMediator (talk) 01:44, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
That's what you're doing here. The outside subject of a paper called Lewontin's fallacy cannot be non-neutral, it just is. It is the title of the paper and is accurate and encyclopedic. If we try to change the title or any other representation of the paper away from what it is and what is presented in sources, then that action therein is non-neutral. Hence, by moving the title away from the actual title of the paper, you yourself have made the article non-neutral. SilverserenC 00:47, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Let me add that, even if this hypothetical speech's title was "All X should die", with X being some group, changing the article away from that title is a non-neutral action, as that is the title of the speech. Of course, this is just an extreme example. SilverserenC 00:49, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Nonsense. The articl will be written from a neutral perspective regardlss of is title. It just so happens that the article in question is not notable indepenently of the original article that it is a comment on. It also so happens that treating the response article separately from the original article is a breach of WP:POVFORk and of WP:NPOV. It seems you need to read both of those again. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:57, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Again, the subject is notable, according to the community consensus at AfD. The consensus was not to merge to an article about Lewontin's paper, as you seem to be trying to do. It is not a FORK of anything, it is an article in and of itself that the sources directly discuss. You're the ones going against consensus and policy. SilverserenC 01:01, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
You are wrong. Take it to ANI or AFDR. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:03, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Will do. SilverserenC 01:20, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Actually, that's probably not necessary, since you seem to have informed everyone else in the AfD about this discussion, which is good. I'll just wait for some of them. SilverserenC 01:23, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
The keep arguments were based on the subject matter, not Edwards' article; if it was, the title should be "Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy". Lewontin's argument isn't the best choice either - "genetic diversity within and among human populations" would probably be more along the lines of what this should be about. Guettarda (talk) 03:09, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
  • The title of the article ought to be "Lewontin's fallacy" rather than "Lewontin's Argument" for the following reasons:
  1. The phrase appears in the title of Edwards' paper is so is properly based upon a source, rather being a novel construction of our own devising.
  2. The matter is accepted as a statistical fallacy by authorities such as Richard Dawkins.
  3. The phrase seems to be the common name for the matter per sources such as Michael Ruse (2009), The evolution wars: a guide to the debates, As it happens, Lewontin has been accused (by AWF Edwards [2003], RA Fisher's last Cambridge student) of making a gross mistake about statistics — so much so that it is now referred to as "Lewontin's fallacy." 
Warden (talk) 03:17, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
  • The title should be "Lewontin's argument", since the general reasoning is accepted, even though there might be a flaw in the statistical justification. As some subsequent commentators have mentioned, Anthony Edwards' paper itself relies on an assumption of statistical independence, which need not necessarily be justified. It is just a short note and it's not up to wikipedia to blow it out of proportion. The contributions of Edwards only make sense in the proper context, i.e. after a clear explanation of what Lewontin originally put forward. Some of those commenting here seem to be doing so to make a WP:POINT about the process involved in AfDs rather than improving this encyclopedia. The "scientific" arguments presented do not stand up to closer examination. Mathsci (talk) 04:01, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
How about it Silver? Can you defend this? --SlowhandMediator (talk) 04:19, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
  • What point is that? I'm here because User:Maunus posted on my talk page, inviting me to comment. The AFD seemed quite routine. What seems more in need of explanation is User:SlowhandMediator which seems to be a new account. Warden (talk) 04:27, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
This article, and the AfD, was in regards to "Lewontin's fallacy", which is both the paper itself and the name of the theory. All of the sources are discussing Lewontin's fallacy. I'm not saying that Lewontin's original paper and his subsequent argument aren't notable. There are a number of sources about that sort of article and an article should be made on that. Then, there should be a background section in this article that has a main page link to that article. However, the AfD conclusion was about keeping the subject of this article, which is on the fallacy and the response to it. The response section is about the fallacy, Richard Dawkins is discussing the fallacy. I am against trying to essentially minimize the fallacy and its notability. SilverserenC 04:46, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Furthermore, which of the sources refer to a subject known as Lewontin's Argument? They may discuss a subject that includes an argument made by Lewontin, but you're making up a title that doesn't exist. SilverserenC 04:48, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
"Lewontin's fallacy" is part of the title of a short note, not the name of a theory, contrary to what Silver seren suggests. I have no idea why he is making such an absurd suggestion. Lewontin's argument does appear to be quite widely accepted, if not its precise statistical underpinning. It is equally silly to take Dawkin's book written for a general audience, i.e. not an academic book, to justify that this is a "theory", when Dawkins says no such thing. Articles in wikipedia are edited on the basis of what can be found in the best sources: in genetics or science in general, we rely on academic textbooks or articles, not on what the hoi polloi have suggested in an AfD debate. Mathsci (talk) 05:18, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
It is an academic paper, not a short note. Again, you're trying to minimize the subject just like in the AfD. Sure, this book alone wouldn't be enough, but that's why the references include this college textbook, this handbook, and this book. This is the same exact argument we had in the AfD and yours was clearly not the consensus version, as it closed as Keep. SilverserenC 06:53, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

comment: There appear to be two issues here. (1) That the title of the article is a problem that needs to be fixed. (2) That the content of the article needs to be fixed. To the extent that there is a problem here, it is (2) not (1). The article needs to have a clear and contextual argument about what "Lewontin's Fallacy" is referring to. That means including significant content about the original paper. aprock (talk) 04:53, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm perfectly fine with tightening the information on Lewontin's Fallacy. The information on how Edwards' statistics work especially needs to be written in a manner that is more comprehensible for the reader. At this point, Richard Dawkin's comment and interpretation of the Lewontin's Fallacy paper is the most clear cut example of what it means. SilverserenC 05:01, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Why is Silver seren relying on a short comment in a popular book for writing an article on science on wikipedia? Mathsci (talk) 05:18, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
A summary of Edwards' paper made by one of the world's leading evolutionary biologists, who would obviously be knowledgeable about the topic in the paper. SilverserenC 07:06, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
This is a popular book for a general audience, not an academic text. It fails WP:RS in this particular contextt, regardless of how notable you think Rchard Dawkins is. Mathsci (talk) 09:21, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
  • The context here is the title of the article. It is our policy that we write for a general audience. In determining the title, a source of this kind is the best possible because it demonstrates the accessible language used by an authoritative writer when writing for a general audience. The book in question was nominated for a science writing prize by the Royal Society and so its quality and respectability for our purposes seem ideal. Warden (talk) 10:35, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

So before we argue about either content or name, we need to establish what this article is about. The AFD is useless here, since most of the discussion wasn't about Edwards' paper. Before we can move forward, we need to determine the topic of the article? As I see it, if consensus is that this is about Edwards' article, then:

  • it should be named Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy
  • it can be quickly dispatched to AFD, since it fails WP:NBOOK.

If, on the other hand, we're interested in the topic we need to find a title that's accessible to a general reader. "Lewontin's fallacy" and "Lewontin's argument" are both vague to the point of being useless.

We do, of course, have a third option, and that is to write an article either about Lewontin's original paper (The apportionment of human diversity) which is, of course, far more notable than Edwards' response to it, or we could write an article entitled something like Human genetic diversity. Which would, of course, encompass Lewontin's arguments, Edwards', and the wealth of other material on this topic. Guettarda (talk) 15:52, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

The third alternative sounds very reasonable to me and, if done skillfully, would result in a proper encyclopedia article. Mathsci (talk) 15:56, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree with options 2 and 3 suggested by Guettarda. I would like to note that in vogel and motulsky's human genetics the section which treates this subject is named after Lewontin's paper and Edwards' paper is cited but not mentioned. It also calls Lewontin's argument "irrefutable mathematical fact" (cited from memory original choice of words might be slightly different) and only mention that this fact does not mean that whenlooking at multiple loci populations do cluster (Edwards' argument). The book Human Biological Variation by Mielke, Kongisberg et al. also refers to Lewontins argument as a fact, not as a disproven fallacy.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:26, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
One more reason that the current title is less than desirable is that lewontin is in fact equally well known for another important argument - namely the one that group differences in biological traits can be due to only environmental factors. There is no tradition for talking about Lewontin's first and second argument, so that would be neologisms.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:32, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Lewontin's paper would also fail NBOOK, if it wasn't for that fact that academic papers don't fall under NBOOK for either of these. Academic books do, but this isn't a book. As far as I know, there is no specific SSG for academic papers, so we default to the GNG, which was met and proven to be met in the AfD, which is what we were discussing in it. And, pray, do tell what subject you believe we were discussing in the AfD? Because we weren't discussing Lewontin's paper, other than to say that that should probably have an article too.
And there are two ways we can go with this. We can either have the article be written about the paper, thus titling it Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy or we can have the article discuss the concept/argument of Lewontin's fallacy. Truthfully, the former would be the easiest to do, as the sources are directly discussing the paper and the responses to it. Some of the text would need to change a bit, but that isn't that difficult of a job.
And, again, yes, there should be an article on Lewontin's groundbreaking paper, but that is a separate article. Once that is made, then a properly formatted Background section can be made in this article that describes Lewontin's theory and a main page template link can be given to direct to the article on his paper. Then, the rest of this article is about Edwards' paper, as are the sources. SilverserenC 19:46, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Is there maybe some sort of compromise between the two arguments, for example "Lewontin's Fallacy(scientific paper)". --SlowhandMediator (talk) 23:10, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
That works too. Or even "Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy (scientific paper)". I mean, if the issue is misunderstanding the title to be a real thing or some sort of insult at Lewontin. SilverserenC 23:20, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Boldly created retitled article. ³SlowhandBlues¯ 12:53, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

What the heck? Not only has SlowhandBlues copy-and-pasted an article to produce two different POV-forks, (with no indication in the history of one, as required to preserve authorship history/copyright), but he/she has been editing this page under two different usernames (also as SlowhandMediator) - a direct contravention of policy. It is undoubtedly going to need administrator attention to sort this mess out, even without dealing with the matter of policy violations: I will report this at AN/I. AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:09, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

There, better. Other version deleted and this article moved over there, so the content and history of the article is saved, fulfilling the necessary copyright requirements. SilverserenC 19:10, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
No, not 'better'. This is still under active discussion, and no consensus for the move has yet been agreed. I suggest you self-revert, and then wait for others to comment. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:14, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
So, if I self-revert, will you self-revert Lewontin's Argument, as there isn't consensus for that move? SilverserenC 19:30, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Though I guess it would be Maunus self-reverting, but still. SilverserenC 19:31, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Silver seren, you have just received a logged ArbCom warning from SarekofVulcan. In addition, as SarekofVulcan pointed out on ANI, you already placed a deceptive template on the speedily deleted article with the same title, created by SlowhandBlues. You should unconditionally self-revert at this point. Mathsci (talk) 19:35, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
...deceptive template? I have no idea what you're talking about, nor why I was "warned", as there is no discretionary sanctions active on this article. I don't see it at the top of the talk page, nor the warning when I edit the page. SilverserenC 19:49, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

The current title ("Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy (scientific paper)") is unacceptable. can we change it, please? William M. Connolley (talk) 19:42, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Sure. What title? I'm fine with Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy, as that's the title of the paper. SilverserenC 19:49, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
We have already had this discussion above. I agreed with Guettarda's suggestion: "Human genetic diversity" is a suitably neutral and accurate title. We can add redirects from all other possible titles containing Lewontin's name (Lewontin's fallacy, Lewontin's argument, etc). Mathsci (talk) 20:08, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm fine with that too, since it is the beginning of the title. SilverserenC 20:12, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm not fine with Silver seren's proposal. The article cannot possibly discuss Edwards' paper without discussing Lewontin first. It needs to discuss both viewpoints, in a neutral manner, and with a neutral title, in the proper historical context, and without implying that Edwards was 'right' - neither were, as more recent research shows. Anything else would be a breach of WP:NPOV. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:11, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
As i've said multiple times, Lewontin's paper is also notable and should have a separate article. Then, a better outlined background section can be included in this article with a main page link to the one on Lewontin's paper. And of course neither should be explained as right, but I don't think the article currently does. SilverserenC 20:14, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Edwards' mathematical note only makes sense once a full explanation of Lewontin's argument is presented. Neither of them takes up much space, as at present. Mathsci (talk) 20:21, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
I would also add that an article on Lewontin's paper wouldn't just be his argument, it would also include original reception to the idea when proposed, and all of the counterarguments, including Edwards', that were developed in response to it, also what sort of impact Lewontin's paper had on his field. Things like that. If you feel that a complete explanation of Lewontin's argument is necessary in this article, fine, but that doesn't mean Lewontin's paper shouldn't also have its own article. And the coverage of Lewontin's argument in this article should be as brief as possible, while being complete. I mean, the sources are able to keep the explanation fairly brief, so it shouldn't be that difficult. SilverserenC 20:38, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
OK, so Human genetic diversity, then. Anyone object to that? William M. Connolley (talk) 20:43, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
An article of that title will be fine, as far as I can see. Of course, neither Lewontin nor Edwards will play a major role in such an article, if it is to cover the topic properly. The subject goes back a long way, and is very much a still-evolving (and contentious) field. I suspect that this might be controversial though. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:05, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Unless i'm very confused about what is being suggested, I thought that that title was meant to be the beginning of the paper in an article about the paper? The point was to remove the Lewontin's fallacy bit from the title to make it more neutral, not to make it an article about the diversity in human genetics. It is still supposed to be about the paper. William, if you're going with Andy's understanding of the title, then I do object. SilverserenC 21:08, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
(ec) On hearing ATG's objection, I noticed that Human genetic variation is already a fully fledged article, in which Lewontin is mentioned in exactly this context. My modified suggestion therefore is to merge a condensed version of the current article into that article, creating redirects to the relevant segment of that article. How does that sound? Mathsci (talk) 21:13, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Strong oppose Just because we have an article on an overall topic doesn't mean that we can't have separate article on influential topics related to the overall subject. It already links to this article anyways. SilverserenC 21:20, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
It is the appropriate context and there seems to be little intellectual or scientific justification for doing otherwise. As for "influential", the paper of Edwards, although in the references of Human genetic variation, is not even mentioned in the text. Mathsci (talk) 21:37, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Er, 'influential'? In what way? As our article notes, Jeffry B. Mitton had made the same objection to Lweontin some time before Edwards paper was published. Can you find a source that actually says the paper was 'influential'? AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:31, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
The fact that the paper is discussed in general college textbooks and handbooks in human genetics, not to mention that it is discussed and approved of by Richard Dawkins, leading evolutionary biologist. That's why it can be considered influential and, most certainly, notable. We discussed this in the AfD. Users found that the paper was notable and should be kept as an article, they did not find to delete or to merge somewhere else. SilverserenC 21:41, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I am not sure that it our business at this stage to make comments about how "influential" Lewontin or Edwards have been. Silver seren has decided that we have to take the AfD as a point of reference, but he has been told by User:Causa sui that that is not how things work. I think for writing we use WP:RS. The book of Dawkins fails that. But for example the book "Human evolutionary biology" published by Cambridge University Press (2010) is a WP:RS. There is chapter by the biological anthropologist Jonathan Marks entitled "Ten Facts about Human Variation" which explains in detail the relevance of the work of Lewontin and of Edwards. This is the kind of source to use and there others like it. Marks, like other commentators, points out that Lewontin's observations have been verified empirically and are not disqualified by Edwards' statistical argument. Guided by Marks' article and its title, it seems wholly appropriate to include this material briefly in the article Human genetic variation. The discussion on wikipedia should not be very different from what is found in that textbook or similar sources. Mathsci (talk) 22:30, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Likewise the Chapter on "Human Genetic Diversity and its History" in the 2007 Wiley Handbook on statistcal genetics discusses the observations of Lewontin, which were justified by at least 3 different statistical approaches after Edwards' critique was published. Mathsci (talk) 23:02, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
I never stated that either Lewontin or Edwards are right in the conclusions proposed in their papers. I don't think this is a discussion about that. This is a discussion about having articles on the papers themselves. SilverserenC 23:13, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
For writing wikipedia articles we rely on secondary sources like these which discuss Lewontin and Edwards together in context. There is no need to make spurious claims about "influential" papers. In both cases above, Lewontin's observations are described precisely in a historical context; Edwards' critique of Lewontin's original analysis is mentioned; and then, even in the light of that critique, it is explained that Lewontin's observations still hold true. There is no reason for wikipedia to give a different impression. There are more references of this kind. Mathsci (talk) 23:21, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay? You have yet to explain why we shouldn't have articles on both of the papers. You're discussing how the information in the articles should be presented, which is a content issue. I don't see how it applies to this discussion. Have you looked at this source yet and the entire Race and Mathematics section? SilverserenC 23:28, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Editorial Integrity

Just for the record my personal opinion is that this paper is a hot, steamy pile o rubble. All the findings mean is that the alleles are in a different sequence, but since the execution of the data(copying to rna, followed by protein forming) is not done in order it doesn't matter anyway. 6% is still 6% no matter where it's located. But that's just me. ³SlowhandBlues¯ 00:04, 2 August 2011 (UTC) confirmed sock of banned Bentheadvocate (talk · contribs)

Agreed. The theory is kinda silly. There's some merit to it in a very general sense, but that's all. SilverserenC 00:10, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
What? AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:14, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
We're kinda discussing WP:NOTAFORUM stuff, in that we're giving our personal opinion about Edwards' actual theory in the paper. It has no real relation to the above discussion though. SilverserenC 00:23, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I suggest you either (a) stick to WP:NOTAFORUM then, or (b) try to give the impression that you understand the topic. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:53, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
wait in what way are we not understanding the topic?--³SlowhandBlues¯ 13:43, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Obvious sock was obvious... AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:11, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Page move

Since the page has been moved, does that mean we have consensus that the article is about Edwards' paper? We need to clarify that, so that we can move forward to AFD. Guettarda (talk) 01:46, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

So you're going to do another AfD? And what exactly are you going to say is different from what the article was like in the last AfD? The page was moved and the first sentence rearranged. Other than that, the content is exactly the same as it was in the last AfD when it closed as Keep. SilverserenC 02:01, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
No, no such consensus exists outside of Silverseren's wishful thinking.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:10, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

NPOV Noticeboard discussion

Noticeboard discussion can be found here. SilverserenC 04:45, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Move/Merge

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page not moved: no concensus in 26 days, no more messages in 14 days. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 10:16, 30 August 2011 (UTC)


Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy (scientific paper)Lewontin's argument – The article is currently located at a location supported only by SilverSeren and (perhaps?) Colonel Warden - a rather large number of editors seem to prefer another location and content of this article. I suggest we either locate it at Lewontin's argument and treat the entire issue in a single location, or that we merge it into Race_and_genetics#Lewontin.27s_argument_and_criticism. I do not support a merge into Human genetic variation since Lewontin's and Edward's arguments are about the degree to which genetic analyses support the validity of racial categories - human genetic variation is a very large topic that is not primarily concerned with racial differences, but everything from genetic illnesses to haplogroups. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:19, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Since one editor does not feel that he has been given reasons for the proposal here goes: 1. Edwards paper is not notable independently of Lewontin's argument and the general debate - the fact that it is mentioned and cited in some textbooks does not prove independent notability. 2. The article is only one side in a larger argument splitting it from the rest of the argument would be in clear conflict with WP:NPOV and WP:CONTENTFORK. 3. PResenting the article out of context is unhelpful to the readership who have no chance of understanding the significance of the topic unless put into its proper context. All these reasons were presented and argued at length by a majority of editors at the recent AFd - so it is surprising that someone who participated in the afd are not aware of the reasons.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:16, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
So, essentially, this is AfD part 2? You disliked the fact that it closed as Keep, so you're trying to get it removed or changed one way or the other through this proposal. SilverserenC 01:22, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
The difficulty is that those who !voted 'keep' at the AfD have since done nothing to resolve the problem that almost everyone acknowledged - that the existing article and title had a POV problem. Unless you are going to suggest that an AfD is a binding agreement to retain an existing article in a policy-contravening state, something needs to be done. Any useful suggestions? AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:39, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
I...already did it. The reasons for the requests for name change was because just being "Lewontin's Fallacy" could be misconstrued in a number of ways. Therefore, I moved the title to the full paper name and specifically pointed out in the title that it is a scientific paper. Thus, the issues with the name are fixed. SilverserenC 01:53, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
So you think changing the title to a name that Edwards used to imply that Lewontin's argument was fallacious is NPOV? Yeah, right... The paper might well be 'scientific', but the title isn't. Or at least, it certainly isn't neutral. Anyway, you've not offered any suggestions as to how an article on one side of an argument can maintain NPOV. It can't, without either extending the remit of the article well beyond that of the implied remit, or engaging in editorialising to finish with a postscript that says that so far the issue is unresolved, and neither Lewontin nor Edwards are 'right', which is an accurate description of the current situation as I understand it - but I can't provide evidence for this without discussing events outside the narrow article topic, as presently defined. Your interpretation of the consensus at the AfD (which I dispute) would imply a !Vote to breach policy - which an AfD cannot do. AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:43, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support the proposed merge, though the proposed section title looks a little clunky: how about 'Lewontin vs. Edwards: a debate on statistics'? AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:39, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose both, obviously. And why are you having a Move/Merge discussion? I don't think there's a proper template for that, because you don't do it. You have not presented a single reason why there shouldn't be an article on this paper or why it should be merged. Thus, this should be closed, as no reasoning has been presented by the nominator or by Andy. SilverserenC 02:57, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
The reasoning is quite simple: nobody is able to explain how we can discuss the Lewontin/Edwards debate in a NPOV manner while only presenting one side of the argument. Forking the article into two is not only against policy, but illogical, since the debate only makes sense in a broader context. So unless you can suggest what a 'single' article on the topic should be called, and how it can maintain NPOV, a merge seems to me at least to be the only viable solution. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:03, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
I think a an article on the paper should use the full name of the paper. That's why I moved it to the full name, since people has issues with it just being Lewontin's Fallacy, as that could be misconstrued in a number of ways. The current title reflects the subject exactly, as being about a research paper. SilverserenC 03:47, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
And how can an article that only discusses one side of a debate preserve NPOV? AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:03, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
It's not discussing a debate, it's discussing the paper. And it has a background section anyways that explains Lewontin's original argument. Nothing in this article is saying that Edwards' paper is authoritatively correct. It quotes important people who have an opinion on it, but that's all. What exactly is POV about the article? SilverserenC 04:26, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
That it 'quotes (some) important people that have an opinion about it'? Why exactly is this single paper in an ongoing debate so worthy of attention? It isn't the last word, and it wasn't even the first place the objections raised by Edwards were aired. The paper is meaningless without context, and implying it has a special significance by giving it an article all to itself gives it more weight than it deserves. Can you give other examples of encyclopaedias that treat single scientific papers in a similar manner? AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:40, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
We make articles based on the sources available for subjects and the attention given to them. In this case, numerous sources have specifically discussed the paper in question, with it even being included in college textbooks. Are you seriously suggesting we should be removing articles such as Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid or Sickle Cell Anemia, a Molecular Disease? SilverserenC 04:54, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - There's nothing at all wrong with having a move/merge discussion, regardless of the non-existence of a template for that. Editors are encouraged to set up discussions that are appropriate to the situation, and custom templates are not required. If there's something to discuss, then there's no reason to close the discussion. We don't do purely procedural things like that. The point is to get the information to the right title, whatever that involves. -GTBacchus(talk) 03:18, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
    • The only reason we've got a template for move discussions and not for move/merge discussions is that the latter happens less often, and nobody's seen fit to make a template for it. Such a template would be welcome, though. -GTBacchus(talk) 03:19, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
      • The issue is that it's trying to combine two completely different procedures. What happens if the discussion ends with half saying move the title and half saying merge the article somewhere? Do we go to no consensus and not do either of those things or do just one of them? How do you stay neutral in which one you do? The thing is that moving an article title and merging an article should not be presented together, because they are asking for completely different things. SilverserenC 03:48, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
        • It's really not a problem. If there's split opinion on whether to merge or move, we try to get more people to the discussion and find a consensus. Wikipedia is not procedure-bound, and that's a Good Thing. It's best to just explain what you think should happen with the article and why, otherwise we end up having these meta-discussions about procedure that don't help anything. I'm pretty sure I've seen move/merge proposals in the past and there was no problem. Just give it a chance and see what happens. We're all intelligent people who aren't going to be stuck because of some procedural hangup. Trust me, it's okay.

          Do you think the article should be moved, or merged, or neither? -GTBacchus(talk) 03:57, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Support merge The article suggested by Maunus is the most appropriate one suggested so far. It is completely in line with the way these matters are discussed in the recent secondary sources I have explicitly cited above. Mathsci (talk) 07:48, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
It's already discussed there anyways. You haven't presented any reason why this article should be merged when the content is fine. There should really be some rule about Delete/Merge voters in an AfD that ends in Keep pushing through a "consensus" merge anyways. :/ SilverserenC 07:54, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Silver seren, what you write is incorrect. Above I have carefully given recent excellent secondary sources which discuss both articles in their proper context (race, genetics, human genetic variation) and have suggested consequently that merging the content to a general article is the best way forward. I am sorry, but I am not going to repeat myself. Please look further up the page, by scrolling if necessary (22:30 and 23:02 on 1 August). Thanks, Mathsci (talk) 08:28, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Merge to the Race and genetics article, as proposed by Maunus. How on Earth did this one ever get kept at AfD? The paper has been cited just 43 times in Web of Science. If that makes it notable, we'll have our work cut out for us (I myself have -as of today- 23 papers with 43 citations or more), there are hundreds of thousands of papers with this kind of citation counts. It's a reliable source though, so it can be used to source some criticism in an article where Lewontin's ideas are mentioned, but a standalone article this frankly is absolutely ridiculous. --Crusio (talk) 08:40, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Because notability for papers is not based on their citations anywhere, but on the GNG. The reason it was kept was because of the references available that discussed the paper itself, such as this, this, this, and this. SilverserenC 23:32, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Do you actually bother to read the sources you find on Google, Silver seren? At least two of the four sources you provide are actually arguing against Edwards' position in the debate - not that a single mention in passing in a book is particular evidence for notability anyway. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:41, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Arguing against Edwards' has nothing to do with coverage of his paper, it is coverage nonetheless. And, if you actually looked at the sources, you'd see that they are definitely not passing mentions. SilverserenC 00:59, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
(ec) Personally I would guess that Crusio, a senior academic researcher in France, is very well placed to evaluate academic articles and books. "Google books" is never used to make such an evaluation. Mathsci (talk) 23:58, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
A reseracher working within the field of human genetics in fact - although of course we don't like experts here at wikipedia.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:09, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
He would be perfect for finding proper references and sources on broad spectrum subjects, such as the Race and genetics article, but when dealing with articles about other scientists in the field (and their papers), it's a bit more iffy, as he would clearly be involved in his opinion and it is impossible to know if he is neutral in that regard or not. SilverserenC 00:59, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
But, as far as wikipedia is concerned, as an anonymous user you have no presumed expertise at all. Your opinions, such as those stated above, are even less than "iffy". They are without any value whatsoever, not so? Mathsci (talk) 01:11, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, just like every other editor. Anyway his argument is based on the number of citations not on his personal opinion.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:05, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
But number of citations has nothing to do with notability in this case. It's not like we have an h-index for papers or anything like that. SilverserenC 01:08, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
I am sure you are more than aware that that is not how things work in the academic world. Mathsci (talk) 01:14, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Um, I am aware of notability works on Wikipedia, which is all that matters. As far as I know, there is no specific guidelines for articles on paper, so you default to the GNG, which has to do with coverage in reliable sources, not with number of citations (or lack thereof). SilverserenC 01:21, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"There is no specific guidelines for articles on paper"? Really, so Wikipedia:Notability (books) is a figment of my imagination, is it? And it doesn't say in relation to "Academic and technical books" that "...how widely the book is cited by other academic publications..." is of relevance to notability? Or are you suggesting that since 'a paper' isn't 'a book', we can ignore this? AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:43, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Papers do not fall under WP:NBOOK, as was already discussed in the AfD. Papers cannot meet any of the criteria under that, such as literary awards, being a subject of instruction in schools, to have been made into a film, ect. Therefore, there are no specific guidelines for papers, so like we do for every other subject that doesn't have a guideline, we default to the GNG, which is met through the sources I have repeated multiple times (which were held up in the AfD). SilverserenC 01:49, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but saying something repeatedly doesn't make it true. And why do you think that citations in other academic publications (presumably including papers?) were seen as of relevance when discussing the notability of academic books? Do you think that policy came out of thin air, or that it had a purpose? AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:02, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Being cited in the media and by other publications is completely different from how papers are cited (from other scientists doing similar research). And, if you're going to go that route, then you would also have to include such citations within other works, like the fact that the paper was cited in a college textbook, by Richard Dawkins, and in numerous other places outside of other papers by scientists. SilverserenC 02:08, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
The fact is that we have a criterion in a closely-related context that states that "citations in other academic publications" are relevant to notability, and you are ignoring this, because it doesn't suit your purposes. I'll ask again: why do you think that citations in other academic publications were seen as of relevance when discussing the notability of academic books? Either explain your reasoning, or concede that it should be seen as relevant here too. AndyTheGrump (talk)
Then my response would be, per that section, citations is one of the suggested basis for establishing notability. Having a large number of citations can establish notability, but the lack of them doesn't do the opposite. Having a large number of citations adds to notability, but there are also other things that create notability, such as coverage in reliable sources. The reason why the citations don't apply is because, if they do not add to the notability, then they are irrelevant for the discussion of notability. SilverserenC 04:27, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
So why exactly are non-academic 'reliable sources' more relevant (or, more to the point, more 'reliable') regarding an article about an academic paper than academic ones? Is it perhaps because the paper isn't actually of any great academic notability at all, but instead happens to have a catchy title that POV-pushers have latched on to (don't bother to answer this - the answer is self-evidently 'yes', as you have already demonstrated). Basically you are arguing that a debate about the notability of a scientific paper has to ignore its scientific significance. An interesting argument, but one that won't get you far. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:06, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Don't merge. There are two issues: Notability and NPOV. The AFD linked at the top of this page reached a consensus that the topic of the article is notable, though neutrality was maybe still an issue (I know the article had a different title during the AFD, but the content was the same). The post linked below at the NPOV noticeboard doesn't address the issue of notability, but both uninvolved editors who commented there agreed that its title is NPOV. Quoting Brmull: "It can't be notable enough to have its own article but not notable enough to have the full name of the paper as its title." So the outcome of the AFD is that it is notable, and the outcome of the NPOVN thread seems to be that there's no NPOV issue for the article to have the same title as the paper. Therefore I see no grounds for a merge.Boothello (talk) 01:25, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Of course the new title is neutral - the contents however aren't, and cannot be unless treated with the rest of the argument. If we treat the entire argument at the article on Edwards paper then what are we going to write in the article on LEwontiin's paper? If not exactly the same? Following the approach of having article for every article in the debate with sufficient citings we are going to end up having an article on Lewontins original article that if both articles are neutral is going to repeat this one in every detail. That is silly. The arguments should be treated together and not repeated in separate article about all of the papers in which related arguments have been advanced. This is a simple question of editorial logics.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:35, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Can you explain how exactly the article's content is non-neutral? Lewontin's views are presented in the background section and then Edwards' views are represented in the next section. Neither viewpoint is presented as being correct, they are merely discussed. The mere fact that the article is discussing a paper that is an argument does not make it non-neutral. What exact content, sentences and such, are non-neutral in the article? Because neutrality is a content issue that should be fixed, it is not a merge issue. SilverserenC 01:45, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Merges are editorial decision about how best to organize content - we don't need to repeat the same content in article's about Lewontin's paper and in Edwards' paper. Now the NPOV issue is this: the article is currently presenting the discussion as if Edwards paper is more important than Lewontin's which by all accounts it isn't. It also does not present any of the arguments against Edwards description of Lewontin's argument as a fallacy. It also does not present the most current mainstream views about the implications of allele frequency analysis on the population level for the concept of race. It gives undue weight to Edwards particular view in the context of the general debate. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:53, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
It should direct the reader to the other articles that have that information, that is the purpose of the Main article link template, after all. Having an article on Edwards' paper doesn't mean it is more important than Lewontin's. Lewontin's paper should have an article as well, arguably a fairly longer one. We don't assign "importance" to article topics and remove the less important ones. We cover all subjects in different articles. And an article on Edwards' paper does not give undue weight to his paper, that doesn't even make any sense. Your only argument seems to be that because there aren't articles on the other views, this one is given weight, but that's not how it works. That just means all of the other views need articles as well, if they don't currently have them. SilverserenC 02:04, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
You are either failing to comprehend or deliberately misrepresenting my arguments. I direct readers who are interested in my actual arguments to read my statements above. And your statements about what "we do" are wrong - wikipedia works by making editorial decisions about how best to present topics to readers. This discussion is the way fo making such decisions.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:08, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
AfD is a method of making such decisions and a decision was made. And a group of the people who voted Delete in the AfD coming around to get rid of the article through another method (with Crusio and Boothello being the only independent people at this point, making it 1 to 1) is in its own way another method of Wikilawyering the processes to get rid of an article you dislike. Your statements elsewhere have shown that you have a personal dislike for the opinions presented in the article subject and this seems to be true for the other AfD Delete people involved in this discussion. You're not treating this neutrally, you're treating it as a method to get rid of and otherwise minimize a scientific viewpoint you disagree with. SilverserenC 02:15, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thanks for assuming good faith and not arguing ad hominem. Perhaps you are just here arguing against me in a topic you clearly know little about out of grudge for the time I warned you for making ad hom,inem generalizations about Jewish editors... I on the other hand have been involved in this topic for quite awhile and have been able to get a long and argue constructively even with most of the people with whom I disagreed. I also happen to know something about this topic, due to having read widely about it and I also happen to have an interest in making wikipedia present this topic in a way that allots weight to viewpoints according to their prominence in relevant literature. You are arguing ad nauseam against a majority of editors who are better read in this topic than you - you do not listen to arguments, but rather distort other editors arguments. This is disrruptive editing the kind for which people have been topic banned. As an editor who has recently been warned about the discretionary sanctions for this topic you would do well to keep this in mindm, and adopt a more collaborative stance. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:28, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
You bringing up the mishandled discretionary sanctions warning and the Noleander thing is also an ad hominem, and I don't see any collaboration going on at all. You want to remove this article, I want to keep it. Where exactly do you collaborate on that? And you being an "expert" on the topic doesn't mean that you or anyone else gets to decide based on your opinion what should be kept or removed. The improvement that experts bring to the project is their ability to find references that are unavailable to the general public and to make articles on subject that would be obscure for anyone else who isn't an expert. The downside to experts being a part of the project is that they often bring their strong POV, as all experts have a POV in relation to their field, there are things they believe in terms of their subject and things they don't believe, which often leads to extensive warring between different bodies of experts, essentially bringing the academic camp wars straight onto Wikipedia. It's for this reason that the R&I sanctions were ever put into place, because of this warring, and I really don't think the benefits experts bring to the project is worth the downsides in the long run if they can't remain neutral. SilverserenC 02:52, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Because amaterus like you are always neutral and never have strong political opinions or general preconceived ideas. Experts' opinions are based on knowledge. Yours is based on ignorance. And Yes I am responding in kind to your repeated ad hominem attacks and baiting. So report me. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:58, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Silver seren seems to have a misunderstanding of how wikipedia is written. More significant material gets proportionately more coverage, whereas peripheral material gets less. Mathsci (talk) 02:13, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
And this article subject has gotten enough coverage to be considered notable, that is what the AfD proved. SilverserenC 02:15, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
The AfD proved nothing, no AfD does. And the article then was about the catchphrase "Lewontin's fallacy", not the paper. Mathsci (talk) 02:21, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
So you're saying that every result that every AfD ever done doesn't mean anything, since they "proves nothing" And the prior version of the article was still about the paper. The entire article was the exact same, other than the lede saying Lewontin's fallacy. It was quite clearly about a paper. SilverserenC 02:46, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The Afd was about the notability of the topic "Lewontin's fallacy" not about the contents of the article - someone kept saying at the AfD that content issues should be discussed elsewhere. That is what we are doing now.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:48, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support or at best merge to Race and genetics. The present title itself is POV.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:38, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Per the NPOV noticeboard discussion, no, it is not, so you may wish to reword your argument, as the title of a paper exterior to Wikipedia can't be POV, as POV is an internal writing construct in relation to Wikipedia. SilverserenC 02:43, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
"The title of a paper exterior to Wikipedia can't be POV"? That is a dubious proposition at best - but in any case, what we are debating is whether using an article cherry-picked for its name (it actually doesn't seem to have a great deal of academic significance) to provide a title is neutral. Ah, but you don't think that academic significance is, er, significant...AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:40, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
There are two kinds of significance when dealing with these types of articles that can determine their notability. There is academic significance, which is one way, and there is also significance given to the subject outside of academic circles, which is reflected in the sources in this article, which show that the paper in question has been considered significant by a number of people (including some academics). SilverserenC 03:43, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
I actually agree with SilverSeren on the NPOV issue (not the notability issue)- NPOV doesn't extend to titles, for example we have an article called "Death to the French". As long as the topic is notable and the title is the common name and the article describes the topic in a neutral manner there are no NPOV concerns. Here however we have pov concerns because for the article to describe the topic neutrally it would have to include a higher proportion of information about Lewontin's paper than about Edwards'. That is the problem here - not the title per se.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 03:51, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Counter proposal renaming to Lewontin's fallacy as proposed. The current title indicates far too narrow an article scope, considering the gap between this article and the broader Race and genetics article. There seems plenty of material to justify an article on Lewontin's fallacy, the name seems common enough [13], it's a good solution to a very tricky question. Andrewa (talk) 03:59, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
You appear to be 'supporting' a proposal that nobody is making. I suggest you read the discussion here, and do a little research into the topic, before commenting further. (and Google hits prove little: "One-legged fish" gets 155,000 hits, apparently... [14]). AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:10, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Then regard the proposal as hereby made, see above. I did spend half an hour getting up to speed on the proposal, reading not only the previous discussion but also the AfD and other related pages, I agree that I didn't word my vote as well as I might have but nobody is perfect. Suggest you exercise a little more tolerance. Andrewa (talk) 04:34, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Can you clarify what, other than Edwards' paper, an article entitled 'Lewontins fallacy' would be about? You are apparently proposing to widen the scope of the article, but giving no indication of what you consider the scope should be. Lewontin came up with an argument. Edwards called it a fallacy - and logically, this is what an article called 'Lewontins fallacy' would discuss. If you think the article should cover broader topics, then the title should indicate this. This has nothing much to do with 'tolerance', and a great deal to do with trying to make Wikipedia comprehensible to people unaware of the petty political squabbles going on in the background. Proposing to revert the article to a title that almost everyone agrees is contentious is hardly helpful. So no, I don't consider 'tolerance' particularly important, if it involves tolerating going around in endless circles. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:31, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Why would it be about anything other than what appears to be most commonly called Lewontin's fallacy? I'm sorry if you see this as going around in circles, and if you see my contributions as unhelpful. Consensus can take some time to achieve, and there are some real and difficult issues here. Agree that the word fallacy is contentious, and that's not the only issue here but it seems to be the trickiest. My contention would be that if it's commonly known as a fallacy, then that's the title the article should have, even if it were actually agreed to be a valid argument. In the same way that it's generally agreed that French toast is not toast, but we don't even have a redirect from the food commonly and wrongly called "french toast". Such clarifications however worthy are not part of the article title, and that policy is fairly generally followed, although there are many (regretable IMO) exceptions. Andrewa (talk) 01:33, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Ridiculous. You do a Google search for 'Lewontin's fallacy', get some hits, and use that to suggest that the most common name for the term 'Lewontin's fallacy' is... well, 'Lewontin's fallacy' obviously. You've not actually demonstrated that it is a common term at all - or is 'One-legged fish' also common? As I've already shown, this gets more Google hits. I think you may have invented another fallacy, all of your own. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:58, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Let's start again. The current title has little to recommend it, and the purpose of this discussion is to try to come up with a consensus on a new title. Are those two points agreed? Andrewa (talk) 03:12, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
In my opinion, no title has much to recommend it. As I argued when starting the AfD, the Lewontin/Edwards issue is merely a small part of an ongoing debate, and can only be understood in the broader context. Sadly, when the admin concerned closed the AfD as keep, no indication was given as how we could solve the very problems that led to me nominating the article for deletion in the first place. I don't see any way to achieve a 'consensus' which can reconcile two incompatible objectives: to have an article about 'the topic' (whatever this is defined to be) and to maintain general Wikipedia policy regarding NPOV, content-forks, weight etc. The article picks out a particular incident in the debate over genes and 'race', elevates it to special status, and implies that it has a greater significance than the evidence supports. It thus follows, through simple logic, that the most 'objective' article on the subject is one that merely treats this as a part of the broader scientific debate - i.e. one covering the whole issue. Any other 'consensus' is going to be flawed. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:33, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── OK, but that battle seems to be lost. But this RM seems to me to have some merit. The name can be improved upon, and the proposed move (and sorry I got this dialogue off on the wrong foot by sheer carelessness...) would be an improvement IMO, but I think we can do even better. What I don't really understand is what you hope to achieve now... there's going to be an article on this general topic it would seem, following the AfD. The concept of flawed consensus doesn't seem all that useful to me... I operate on the opposite principal, that if we can't achieve consensus then it doesn't really matter which way we go. This is not a popular principle in some circles! Readers Digest once had a marginal comment that I still love: The difference between a prejudice and a conviction is you can explain a conviction without getting mad. (I think from your user page you might like Tom Lehrer's song National Brotherhood Week, do you know it?) Wikipedia isn't perfection, maybe is not even asymptotic to perfection. So we need a certain pragmatism. That's a bit of a ramble... with me so far? Andrewa (talk) 08:01, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Total fabrication in introduction

"Anthropologists generally acknowledge the validity of Edwards' argument, but deny that this means that races are biologically real, since the same statistical argument can be used to argue that almost any geographic population is a biologically distinct "race".[5]"

Note that, firstly, this is the very definition of a weasel-word ("generally"? How can we claim what anthropologists "generally" do, even if we did have a source that claimed such?) and, second -- correct me if I'm wrong -- the source given does not appear to even mention Edwards' contributions, let alone claim what the above paragraph implies it does. 96.44.114.222 (talk) 08:58, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

You are correct. The source didn't mention Edwards, Lewontin, or have the phrase Lewontin's fallacy in it in any form. Therefore, I have removed it. SilverserenC 16:15, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Silver, it looks neater and more relevant now. 96.44.114.222 (talk) 22:38, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Use of the infobox in this article

Interesting as it is for the casual editor to see the complexities of the maneuverings when a Wikipedia article is controversial, the processes can be somewhat arcane. In this case, I note that the infobox has the simple misprint "the probability of and individual", which clearly should read "the probability of an individual", yet correcting this is not subject to normal editing. I would have thought that the presence of an object which is difficult to edit within a controversial article would in itself be a matter of controversy? Surely there should be another class of infobox which is more susceptible to editing.Collieuk (talk) 13:40, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

You can edit the infobox here: Template:Infobox multi-locus allele clusters.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:59, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Long 2009

I should of course have checked Long before - but I thought I could at least trust Mikemikev to cherrypick papers that in fact pretends to support his conclusions. Long, however, definitely does not. In the conclusion to the update he writes: "Now, with more genetic data and more populations sampled, we are able to revisit the race problem with greater accuracy. Recently, my colleagues and I have tested the usefulness of race as a way to describe genetic differences among populations by contrasting the results of racial classification with those from generalized hierarchical models (Long et al. 2009). Race fails! Figure 3 diagrams the contrast for a data set consisting of complete DNA sequences for 64 autosomal loci (38,000 bp total). Four resequenced individuals represent each population. A summary of the major problems with using race are as follows. First, imposing the classically defined race structure on populations causes us to estimate less diversity for the species as a whole than does allowing all populations to link back to a common base population in an unrestricted hierarchy. Second, using the race pattern causes us to estimate excess diversity within non-sub-Saharan African populations, but it estimates a deficit of diversity within sub-Saharan African populations. Third, the supposition of races forces all continental populations to diverge equally from a single ancestral node, whereas an unrestricted hierarchy places the basal split within Africa. Fourth, in the classical race framework, European and Asian populations diverge from African populations independently, but the unrestricted hierarchy shows that European and East Asian populations link together before either links to sub-Saharan Africans." He in fact makes the opposite conclusion than what Mikemikev's sockpuppets are saying!·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:17, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

I have removed it though - since the paper doesn't mention or cite Edwards or mention the "fallacy". Its a good paper to include in Race and genetics though.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:18, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Biological anthropologist? They should have no authority on the matter.

I find it funny that those who are in support of this Lewontin's fallacy paper are real scientists like Dawkins and the author himself, Edwards, while those who are more in support of Lewontin's original (and misleading) idea are 'biological anthropologists' and social 'scientists'. I don't think social scientists should have any authority on a decidedly scientific topic and it is clear that their viewpoints are biased by their leftist leanings. RhymeNero (talk) 17:56, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Since you are clearly clueless, can I suggest you do a little research into what 'biological anthropologists' specialise in? Your viewpoint appears to be biased by sheer ignorance.... AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:22, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Biological anthropologists are the very same people who 'proved' certain people were racially inferior by comparing skull sizes. You really think the discipline has improved to any extent from those days? It's still an art and not a science. RhymeNero (talk) 03:30, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Let's leave the talk page to discussing the content. Dawkins is a zoologist. Brace is an anthropologist. The objection rings hollow. Professor marginalia (talk) 03:33, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I can think of few more stupid arguments than this. What the hell do you think the science of biological anthropology specialises in? AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:38, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Is that a joke? Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist, hey look up his wikipedia article, it's on the first goddamn line. Biological anthropology is anthropology at its heart, which is indeed nowhere near a science. Furthermore, the Witherspoon et al paper derives no scientific knowledge on the matter. It is just further criticism for the sake of criticism, and in view of NPOV I believe it should be rightfully removed. RhymeNero (talk) 03:47, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Brace is an evolutionary anthropologist, and he has a wikipedia article that says so too. Witherspoon is published in peer reviewed Genetics journals.NCBI Again, objection rings hollow. Professor marginalia (talk) 03:58, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
RhymeNero, I have reported you for violating WP:3RR, and given your level of ignorance, I can see no point in discussing the matter further. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:59, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Looks like the PC brigade are doing a good job hushing up all those who dissent with the PC status quo. Since when is publishing in a Genetics journal make one a geneticist? It's mind blowing to think a person with only an arts knowledge of a scientific subject can make scientific statements when he lacks the scientific underpinnings to do so. It's like a history major trying to write a paper on particle physics. Once again I repeat that what the WItherspoon et all paper derives no scientific knowledge on the subject. Look at how he uses the word 'may'. That's not science, that's just suppositions. And you really want to compare the nobodies who came up with that paper with prestigious Cambridge researchers? That part of the article should be removed. RhymeNero (talk) 04:06, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

How many times do you have to be told to actually do a little research before spouting your ignorance? Biological anthropology is as much a science as any other branch of biology. Go away, study the subject, and then come back when you have an opinion worth considering. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:09, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Article title

The name of the scientific paper is Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy. WP:TITLE clearly says "Do not enclose titles in quotes: Article titles that are quotes (or song titles, etc.) are not enclosed in quotation marks." This includes the names of scientific papers, which in standard prose should be enclosed in quotation marks. This was the reasoning for the move last year at [15]. The article title Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy or Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy (scientific paper) is still completely accurate and neutral and conforms to naming conventions. Reywas92Talk 04:35, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

I remember proposing the latter title. I guess the quotes are meant to delegitimize the paper or something. Welcome to the Race and Intelligence topic area. SilverserenC 04:48, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Reywas92, please read the 'Move/Merge' discussion above. And WP:NPOV trumps 'naming conventions' every time. If you insist on starting another discussion on the same subject, there is nothing to prevent you - but please do a little research first. The move to Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy recently instigated by you was clearly contentious, and should not have been done without requesting input from others. As for the quote marks, I've got no strong opinions either way - but it needs to be discussed first.
Silver Seren, you're hardly helping matters here. Yes, this is a heated subject, but we don't have to assume that everything anyone does has an ulterior motive. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:09, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Except there is no reason not to have it at Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy, which is the title of the paper and the common convention for other articles on academic papers and in line with WP:TITLE. And please don't tell me you're starting the NPOV thing again. The title of a paper cannot be POV, because POV is something that applies to inter-Wikipedia things. This was already pointed out in the AfD and the BLPN board. SilverserenC 06:22, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
There are 'no reasons' other than the multiple ones already given in previous discussions (or maybe there are?). If you want to propose that the article be renamed, then do so - at which point I will ask that you explain your bizarre assertions regarding POV being confined to Wikipedia, and ask why you think that the outside world is devoid of such troublesome things as opinions... AndyTheGrump (talk) 09:56, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

I did read the discussion above and I do not see anywhere that shows a consensus for the use of quotation marks. That discussion was whether the article title should be the title of the paper, Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy, or a more generic Lewontin's argument, as well as whether there should be merges with related genetic articles. I do not "insist on starting another discussion on the same subject": I am not proposing any change in the content of this article's title or to revisit any of that debate. I only want to remove the quotation marks which are clearly against WP naming policy. If others agree, the parenthetical (scientfic paper) should also be removed because there is no disambiguation necessary and the normal name redirects here. There is absolutely no NPOV problem whatsoever if Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy is the actual, published name of the scientific paper. Reywas92Talk 18:47, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

That is a matter of opinion. Other opinions differ, as should be obvious. If you want to propose a move, then do so. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:10, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was moved by Reywas92. --BDD (talk) 15:08, 28 August 2012 (UTC) (non-admin closure)

"Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy" (scientific paper)Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy (scientific paper) – Per reasons already stated. Reywas92Talk 13:20, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment. If the issue is non-compliance with WP:MOS, shouldn't it be "Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy (scientific paper)". The article title is, um, a title. The snag with that is that, per WP:ITALICTITLE it isn't technically possible to do this. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:49, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Why the qualifier? NPOV issues. See the talk page, the archives, the AfD discussions etc. If you want to propose a different move, please start a new move discussion. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:55, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Huh? This is about a journal article, so it should have the same title as the article, shouldn't it? I'm not aware of an issue where we change the name of a creative or scholarly work to adhere to NPOV (cf. WP:POVTITLE). In Category:Academic journal articles, I only see two other entries with such qualifiers, and one is a redirect. And I'm not going to propose a different move. Alternate titles are proposed in RMs all the time, and sometimes accepted. --BDD (talk) 22:01, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Have you read all the previous discussions? AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:32, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes. You're fond of asking that, aren't you? You seem to misunderstand WP:NPOV as it relates to article titles. It is completely neutral on our part to call this Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy, because that is the verbatim name of the scholarly article that is the subject of our article. Likewise, we can have an article called Hitler's Willing Executioners without endorsing any of the ideas expressed therein. The "(scientific paper)" qualifier would be necessary if another Wikipedia article had an identical or very similar title that could cause confusion, but that's not the case. --BDD (talk) 22:46, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
This suggestion is the most appropriate with Wikipedia Naming Conventions. Support for that move. The qualifier is not standard practice for academic articles in Wikipedia. SLawsonIII (talk) 00:11, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Closing as move to Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy. Thanks, Reywas92Talk 03:43, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

re: """ He found that the majority of the total genetic variation between humans (i.e., of the 0.1% of DNA that varies between individuals), 85.4%, is found within populations, 8.3% of the variation is found between populations within a "race", and only 6.3% was found to account for the racial classification. Numerous later studies have confirmed his findings.[5]""""

= Lewontins 1972 article/statement/claim ".1%", ergo, "99.9%" is Outdated and incorrect. The Human Genome project initially had the same result. - However, the difference is now SEVEN Times greater than thought: .7% and 99.3% - Leaving Plenty of room for Race/subspecie. - A HUGE Gap and fully Half the differential of Chimpanzees (98.6%) to Humans. - - - - - - - """"" If a region of the human genome is sequenced from two randomly chosen individuals, 99.3% of the examined DNA will be identical [8].""""" - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC137447/ - There are even those who want to make a case for different Human species as the genetic distance and Fst is similar to that between Gorilla SPECIES. thx - Many more refs available.

Cont'd https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/woodley-2009-is-homo-sapiens-polytypic-human-taxonomic-diversity-and-its-implications.pdf

"""Based on Table 2, it is evident that the ‘H. sapiens as monotypic species’ theory is INconsistent with the way in which taxonomic classification has been employed for other species exhibiting similar degrees of heterozygosity. Chimpanzees for example exhibit very similar degrees of observed heterozygosity to humans (0.63–0.73 vs. 0.588–0.807) yet have been divided into Four subspecies. ** -

Some species such as the grey wolf actually exhibit Lower levels of observed heterozygosity than humans (0.528 vs. 0.588– 0.807) yet have been divided into as many as 37 subspecies. - ** When measures of genetic distance are used such as Wright’s FST, which describes the fraction of the variation attributable to population subdivision, values indicative of great levels of genetic differentiation have been obtained for humans (0.156) based on the analysis of autosomal loci [39] (great levels of genetic differentiation correspond to values of between 0.15 and 0.25 [40]). - **

This contrasts with scores indicative of little to moderate levels of genetic differentiation in other animals (again obtained by looking at autosomal loci), such as the Canadian lynx (0.033) [28], which is recognized as having three subspecies, and the African buffalo (0.059) [24], which is recognized as having five subspecies. - ** A relevant question to ask at this stage is how many subspecies comprise H. sapiens? Traditionally, anthropologists have recognized four great races on morphological grounds (Congoid or ‘Negroid’, Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Australoid) with Capoid (SE Africans) sometimes described as a fifth [41]. Molecular data have resulted in this structure being modified slightly with the analysis of classical and other genetic markers consistently revealing the presence of around five continental populations (major clades or races) in the form of SubSaharan Africans, Caucasians (European and Non-European), NE (Greater) Asians, SE Asians and Pacific Islanders (includes Australopapuans) and Amerindians [42–45]. Subspecies identified cladistically not only compliment the definition of race as correlation structure, but also present an adequate solution to the problem of arbitrariness in traditional taxonomic approaches to the classifi- cation of human racial diversity [45,46].""" - - - - cont'd - - - - - "...Table 4 would seem to suggest that the Sub-Saharan African (Bantu) and Australopapuan (Aborigine) genetic difference as measured by SNP’s is greater than the genetic distance between both the two species of gorilla (Gorilla gorilla and Gorilla beringei), and greater than the distance between the common chimpanzee and the bonobo as measured by mtDNA."" - ""On the basis of this Fuerle suggests that there are only two consistent courses of action to take regarding re-classification – splitting or lumping. Either H. sapiens could be split into two species – Homo africanus which would encompass modern African populations and Homo eurasianensis which would encompass Eurasian populations; making the genus Homo consistent in his view, species-wise with respect to other genera in which the differences between species are expressed in terms of much smaller genetic distances; or alternatively the genetic variability within the human species could be used to typologically define the absolute limits of what constitutes a vertebrate species, which could then be employed as a taxonomic baseline in the classification of other species. This would mean lumping the two gorilla species and the chimpanzee and the bonobo as single species.""" - ` https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/woodley-2009-is-homo-sapiens-polytypic-human-taxonomic-diversity-and-its-implications.pdf - - - Justmarc

Citations list useful for updating this article

You may find it helpful while reading or editing articles to look at a bibliography of Anthropology and Human Biology Citations, posted for the use of all Wikipedians who have occasion to edit articles on human genetics and related issues. I happen to have circulating access to a huge academic research library system at a university with an active research program in these issues (and to other academic libraries in the same large metropolitan area) and have been researching these issues sporadically since 1989. You are welcome to use these citations for your own research. You can help other Wikipedians by suggesting new sources through comments on that page. It will be extremely helpful for articles on human genetics to edit them according to the Wikipedia standards for reliable sources for medicine-related articles, as it is important to get these issues as well verified as possible. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 15:05, 15 September 2013 (UTC)